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Genesee County agencies form quick response team to prevent overdose deaths

Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 2:23 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - Several Genesee County organizations are collaborating to form a quick response team with a goal of preventing overdose deaths.

The team works on referrals to connect overdose survivors with peer recovery coaches and treatment resources to prevent any repeat overdoses. The Greater Flint Health Coalition, Genesee Health System, New Paths and first responders are part of the effort.

“The tragedy of opiate abuse and death has touched all of us,” said Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson. “That means it takes all of us to crush it. Education, awareness, Naloxone distribution and the Genesee County Quick Response Team are on the cutting edge to do just that.”

Genesee County reported 138 opioid overdose deaths in 2019, which is the latest statistic available. That is the third most overdose deaths among Michigan’s 83 counties behind only Macomb and Wayne counties, which have much larger populations.

The Genesee County Medical Control Authority is placing stickers with information about the quick response team and its services on doses of Naloxone, which automatically are left behind at scenes of non-fatal overdoses. Naloxone, which is marketed as Narcan, can reverse the effects of an overdose.

“We want to reduce as many barriers as possible for individuals to get connected to treatment and provide peer to peer support to help them successfully adhere to treatment plans, with long-term recovery being the ultimate goal,” said Greater Flint Health Coalition Project Manager Kelly Ainsworth.

The Genesee County Quick Response Team can be reached at any time of the day or night by calling 810-624-1177 or sending a text message to 810-835-4288.

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