25 Overdoses have occurred in Acushnet since the beginning of the year as of 9/11/2015. EMTs are uniquely positioned to assist patients at the scene of an overdose by providing access to resources and support to victims and their families. EMTs often develop special bonds with the people they serve at their time of need which creates an opportunity to motivate people to improve their situation. Acushnet Cares Outreach Initiative uses that special bond to help improve outcomes.
Acushnet Cares Overdose Outreach Initiative is a strategy to outreach and connect with individuals and bystanders involved in overdose calls. The program will bring faith community and recovery advocates together with EMTs for a follow up visit to locations where the overdoses occurred. By connecting with the people in a nonjudgmental way, the Acushnet Cares team seeks to establish rapport, follow up, share resources, make referrals and improve outcomes.
Acushnet Fire and EMS Department
DrugFreeNB Outreach Team
Inter-Church Council Outreach Program
PAACA Outreach Program
Seven Hills Outreach Program
The objective of the initiative is to connect with the person who experienced overdose,
their family and/or bystanders in an effort to establish a relationship/permission for follow
up. We recognize that recovery and treatment is often difficult to navigate, so our goal is to
foster the relationship and facilitate future conversation. Acushnet Care Outreach program utilizes a 4- Step Approach
Connect - Paramedics/EMTs will provide care to the patient and will provide the patient
with information about the Acushnet Cares Initiative. Where appropriate, the
Paramedics/EMTs will ask permission to do a follow up contact with the Acushnet Cares
team. Conversation about Acushnet Care may begin during the ride to the hospital or at the
location of the call. This is a voluntary program for the patient.
Screen – Paramedics/EMTs will debrief the case with the Fire Chief to determine
appropriateness for follow up and to develop a follow up plan outlining date, time, who will
be involved, and any other pertinent information. Not all cases will be appropriate for EMT
follow up because of safety issues, etc. In those cases where safety is an issue, a packet of
resource information will be mailed to the location when possible. Visits will be scheduled
within 1 week of the call.
Visit – The outreach team, which may include the responding Paramedic/EMT, and up to 1
Faith and 1 Recovery Outreach workers, will meet up to discuss the general details of the
case prior to making the visit. The EMT will introduce him/herself first prior to the other
members of the team approaching the site. Once permission is given to speak with the
team the other team members will enter the conversation.
The goal of the visit is to:
1. Let patients know that Acushnet Cares;
2. Share resources and support and
3. Outreach workers will try to establish a follow up plan that may include further contact,
referrals, etc.. This visit will serve as a “warm hand-off” to the agencies that will follow the
After the visit, the team will debrief the outreach and share information with the larger
team as appropriate.
Follow Up – Outreach workers will engage in follow up to keep the patient engaged in the
process and keep track of treatment outcomes. That data tracking will help inform the
effectiveness of the program. The team will meet collectively as needed to review progress,
share best practices, and provide clinical supervision.