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Overdose Response Teams

Combining Professional and Peer Support to Help Those Struggling with Opiates and Psychostimulants Find a Path to Recovery


The opioid and psychostimulant crisis continues to devastate lives and communities across the nation, with overdose rates remaining alarmingly high. In response to this urgent public health issue, innovative approaches to addiction treatment are emerging, such as Overdose Response Teams (ORTs) or Quick Response Teams (QRT). These multidisciplinary teams unite healthcare providers, peer support specialists, and recovery services, providing vital intervention and support for individuals in active addiction. Call Pathways 211 or 740-345-HELP and ask for help from ORT or QRT.


Overdose Response Teams are designed to intervene in the days following an overdose, ensuring that individuals receive prompt emotional support and assistance in accessing recovery services. ORTs typically consist of behavioral healthcare providers, such as therapists or social workers, who can assist in getting an assessment, as well as peer support specialists who provide guidance, encouragement, and a non-judgmental listening ear. By combining professional expertise with the unique insights of individuals who have experienced addiction and recovery firsthand, ORTs offer a comprehensive and compassionate approach to overdose intervention.


Peer support plays a crucial role within ORTs, as it helps to bridge the gap between the individual in active addiction and the professional services available to them. Peer support specialists have a deep understanding of the challenges and emotions faced by those in active addiction, having navigated their own recovery journey. Their presence during an overdose intervention can help to break down barriers, foster trust, and instill hope in the individual that recovery is possible.


Furthermore, peer support specialists are well-versed in the range of recovery services available and can help connect the individual to the most appropriate resources for their needs. This could include detoxification programs, medication-assisted treatment, counseling, or support groups. By offering personalized guidance and ongoing support, peer specialists can make a lasting impact on an individual’s recovery journey.


Overdose Response Teams are an innovative and powerful tool in the fight against opioid and psychostimulant addiction. By uniting the skills and compassion of behavioral healthcare providers and peer support specialists, these teams provide a lifeline for individuals in active addiction, offering a helping hand at their most vulnerable moments. As we continue to grapple with the devastating impact of addiction on our communities, the work of ORTs serves as a beacon of hope, reminding us that recovery is possible, and that every life is worth saving.

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