Good Evening, God!
Sometimes, I hear something so clearly analyzed and thought out that it takes my breath away! That’s how I responded to Jan Rader’s TED talk on “In the opioid crisis, here’s what it take to save a life.” Basically, she observed that just resuscitating someone is not enough. Even after being resuscitated for the 3rd or 4th time the person still doesn’t know they have a problem! Addicts just don’t know they have a problem.
In addition, the drug that saves them makes them feel horrible. It isn’t a great time to talk sense to them. So, they created a Quick Response Team (QRT) composed of a paramedic, police officer, someone in the recovery community and someone in the faith community. They go and visit those who have overdosed within 72 hours. And right now around 30% of the folks accept some kind of help.
They also created a free-standing specialty clinic – PROACT – for assessment by an addiction specialist. First responders can take or refer patients there who do not want to go to a hospital. This helps the overloaded hospitals, too.
But what moved me the most is that they have started a first responders self-care program. If you are seeing 5 young people die every month . . . many of them classmates and friends . . . you need help! So, now they have yoga in the firehouses and on-duty massages. And they have off-duty programs like pottery and cooking classes.
Bottom line? Overdoses are down 40%. Overdose deaths are down 50%. As she said, “This epidemic is far from over. But each and every one of us has a part to play in this epidemic. Just by listening and being kind to somebody, you have the ability to make a difference in their lives.”