Mercer County Opioid Overdose Recovery Program (OORP) Open During COVID-19
The current COVID-19 pandemic situation has resulted in unprecedented challenges for the entire Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Prevention, Treatment, and Services industry. Social distancing restrictions, along with treatment center policy and medical screening enhancements, have posed additional unique restrictions on access to and delivery of SUD services. The ongoing opioid addiction crisis has been well documented and continues to claim the lives of thousands in NJ every year.
Mercer Council has been the sole provider of services in Mercer County for the NJ state funded Opioid Overdose Recovery Program (OORP) since 2017, performing over 850 hospital bedside interventions, peer support services, referrals and linkages to detox, residential/outpatient treatment, and Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT) programs, in addition to providing a multitude of recovery support services such as housing/sober living, transportation, medical, and legal support.
In mid-March, in response to the COVID-19 crisis, Mercer Council made the proactive decision to close it’s offices and stop sending in our peer recovery specialists into the four area hospitals that we serve. However, we have been able to continue delivering services with the help of the on-site hospital staff by obtaining remote release of information forms/consent and delivering telephone bedside interventions and for patients who have been either reversed with Naloxone, or those that simply present at the hospital looking for help with Opioid issues. Since the restrictions went into place we have still performed almost a dozen critical bedside interventions, despite hospitals being severely challenged with an influx of COVID-19 related patients.
In addition to remote bedside interventions we continue to follow up with existing active OORP clients for the mandated 8 week follow up period, and also perform periodic check-ins with clients beyond the eight week mandatory window, at 3, 6 and 12 month intervals to track progress and offer additional assistance. We continue to meet regularly as a team virtually using Zoom technology to address case management and actively adjust our planning and standard operating procedures for this difficult time. In short, we remain active on the front lines of the fight against Opioid Addiction.
In addition to our regular OORP services, we are also promoting and delivering access to weekly online Zoom “All Recovery” recovery support meetings. These meetings are open to all who are in recovery, working in the recovery field, and/or supportive of the recovery “lifestyle”. All pathways to recovery are embraced and respected at these meetings. The meeting information and access URL are listed below:
Topic: Weekly All Recovery Meeting at MCADA
Time: Apr 1, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Every week on Wed, until May 13, 2020, at 7pm EST (7 total)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 773 904 177