The Mission of the York Opioid Collaborative is to coordinate efforts in our region to reduce overdose deaths and to minimize the impact of the opioid epidemic in our community through four areas of focus:

PREVENT

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Increase county-wide prevention and education efforts throughout York County to prevent or delay the onset of Substance Use Disorder.

Strategy:

Implement a prevention initiative throughout York County to increase awareness and education substance use disorders and the opioid epidemic.

Objective 1A:

Assess community knowledge and stigma with target populations to identify appropriate community awareness campaigns and educational programs.

Objective 1B:

Ensure that all residents of York County are well-informed on signs of a Substance Use Disorder (SUD)/Opioid Use Disorder (OUD), overdose, treatment, recovery options, and frequently abuse over the counter medicines. Target
Populations include, but are not limited to the following:

  • First Responders (e.g. Fire Departments, EMS Agencies, and Law Enforcement)
  • Health Professionals (including pharmacy staff)
  • Teachers, Coaches, and Parents
  • Hospital Emergency Departments
  • Families and Friends of Individuals with an SUD (to build support networks)
  • The Public and Community Members
  • Community Facing Individuals (e.g. front office staff)
  • Media
  • Faith Based Community
  • Neighborhood Task Forces

Objective 1C:

Reduce the supply of available opioids in York County by increasing prescriber education regarding the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (e.g. proper use, importance, and making sure individuals are not going to Maryland to receive prescriptions), pain management alternatives, utilization of Medication Take Back Boxes and events, awareness of public safety concerns and longer sentencing terms for drug dealers.

Objective 1D:

Increase standard early intervention and education for youth as part of their regular health education routine (from elementary to college) that utilizes evidence-based models, certified trainers, minimize scare tactics, and provide encouragement and hope for the future. It will first be important to identify available preventative services available in York County and other areas (e.g. Mental Health services, non-drug and alcohol related activities, and required after school activities and curfews).

RESCUE

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Increase rescue efforts in York County to promote the health, safety, and well-being of persons at high risk for an overdose and/or those with a substance or opioid use disorder.

Strategy:

Increase SUD and overdose education for professionals who are in contact with individuals at high risk for overdose, individuals with a substance or opioid use disorder, and their friends or families.

Objective 2A:

Research legislation and policies surrounding clean injection sites and needle exchanges.

  • A needle exchange exists in the City of York and surrounding counties (Dauphin and Lancaster).

Objective 2B:

Increase access and utilization of naloxone throughout the community.

  • The York Public Library seminar included education on carrying and utilizing naloxone.
  • York Adams Drug and Alcohol partnered with Minnich’s pharmacy to improve accessibility of naloxone.
  • Distributed naloxone kits to the community on Naloxone Awareness Day.

Objective 2C:

Ensure first responder organizations have a naloxone leave behind policy and are providing naloxone to individuals or families and friends of individuals who experienced an overdose.

  • York Adams Drug and Alcohol is the Centralized Coordinating Entity (CCE) for naloxone in York County and can provide naloxone to first responder agencies.

Objective 2D:

Develop an overdose follow-up procedure for First Responders (Emergency Medical Services, Fire, and Police) to reconnect with an individual after an overdose or substance use disorder event to encourage further treatment or education.

  • Discussions have begun for a Post Overdose Response Team using funds from PCCD and other sources.

Objective 2E:

Change the first responder standing order to allow other first responders (e.g. treatment providers and law enforcement) to give out naloxone.

TREAT

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Eliminate barriers to increase access and utilization of Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health treatment services throughout York County.

Strategy:

Increase awareness, engagement, and quality of services through the continuum of care, including appropriate treatment at all levels of care, Medication Assisted Treatment, and maintenance/sustainability of recovery resources.

Objective 3A:

Develop resources to identify and publicize available treatment programs and services in York County.

Objective 3B:

Work with local Emergency Departments to develop a protocol and implement Medication Assisted Treatment in the ED for overdose survivors.

Objective 3C:

Identify and address current barriers for accessing and maintaining treatment to increase quality of services and ensure all individuals with a substance use disorder are referred to the proper treatment for the proper length of time (e.g. , longer inpatient stays, simpler transition to access and step-down processes to services, transition of care standards, 24-hour access to care, resources for non-English speaking individuals, and availability of rehab and detox beds).

Objective 3D:

Identify potential funding sources and resources to address staff burnout of substance use disorder and recovery support providers (e.g. to hire and train more case workers and Certified Recovery Specialists) as well as provide more wrap around services (e.g. shelters, clothing, mental health, and medical services).

Objective 3E:

Increase opportunities to promote and provide transportation to treatment for individuals with a substance use disorder.

  • York Adams Drug and Alcohol partners with local transportation and ride shares.

Objective 3F:

Work with local First Responder agencies (e.g. Emergency Medical Services, Law Enforcement, and Fire) to establish new protocols for overdose survivors including consent for treatment referral upon refusal for transport, collaboration of warm handoff services to treatment, and policies regarding mandatory treatment after a set number of overdose reversals.

Objective 3G:

Identify and address refusals for services, such as warm handoffs, to better improve warm handoff services and communications between providers and increase access and retention of treatment.

RECOVER

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Ensure that all individuals in York County have the opportunity for successful recovery and supportive communities.

Strategy:

All individuals engaged in post-treatment care will receive support and guidance for non-treatment needs (i.e. housing support, job training, etc.) and consistent monitoring for risk of overdose to support long term recovery.

Objective 4A:

Develop resources to identify and publicize available recovery options and support (including mental health resources, NA and AA groups, MAT inclusive, etc.) and increase the number of recovery groups available.

Objective 4B:

Develop a center for individuals in recovery where they can access multiple services (mental and physical health care, pro-social activities, life skills, work and job placement, basic social and work support, housing etc.) seven days a week.

Objective 4C:

Develop and implement a recovery campaign with recovery testimonials, targeting individuals aged 25-34 years.

Objective 4D:

Increase the number of SUD “Safe Spaces” in York County (e.g. a coffee shop or recovery center) where individuals in recovery can have a space of their own to connect to other individuals in recovery and resources and frequent without fear of stigma or triggering events.

Objective 4E:

Collaborate with local providers to increase the ease of access for providers and physicians to prescribe/utilize Medication Assisted Treatments (e.g. buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone), and increase long term planning for individuals on MAT.

Objective 4F:

Research, develop, and promote alternative recovery programs (e.g. equine therapy).