The York Opioid Collaborative facilitates connections with stakeholders to increase a shared understanding of substance use disorders and overdoses in our community, increase shared accountability, and facilitate both targeted and community-wide problem solving. YOC strives to be the connective tissue to bring partners from various sectors together to improve our collective response to Substance Use Disorders/ Opioid Use Disorders and overdoses in York County.

THE PRINCIPLES OF COLLABORATIVE WORK

Education/Awareness Committee

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Engagement with community partners to increase education/awareness of substance use disorders including opportunities to prevent onset of substance use.

Harm Reduction Committee

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Focus on promotion of health, safety and well-being of persons at risk for an overdose and/or those with a substance use disorder through increasing understanding of harm reduction spectrum and availability of harm reduction strategies.

Recovery/Community Support Committee

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Engagement with community partners to enhance recovery and community support by increasing recovery activities, increase knowledge of available resource for the recovery community, family support and creating a community supportive of recovery.

Public Health and Safety Team (PHAST)

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PHAST is a framework developed by the CDC Foundation, modeled after NYC’s RxSTAT model.  The goal of PHAST is data-driven overdose response among Public Health and Public Safety Partners through action-oriented, facilitated targeted problem solving with shared accountability among partners and performance monitoring of interventions.  This is designed to enhance data collection and sharing among stakeholders to better inform community response and individual agency response.

Multi-sector partners in PHAST act as a representative of their agency.   They are engaged in or highly aware of the day-to-day activities of their own agency and are able to speak with authority regarding potential programmatic and policy changes.  PHAST members are committed to a shared north star, reducing overdoses and substance use in York County.

CURRENT INITIATIVES

Safe Prescribing Initiative

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The scope of the Safeguard Rx project encompasses the continuum of care for a patient. Beginning with initial evaluation and treatment of individuals with non-controlled substance approaches, followed by initial prescription with plan of care, ongoing monitoring using best practices in the care of the patient,  early identification of concerning patterns of use of medication, and appropriate intervention and referral for individuals who may have developed a substance use disorder as a complication of therapy. Three stages of the program are proposed:

 

Stage I: Development of core curriculum for prescribers incorporating evidence-based practices when available, best practices when evidence is not sufficiently strong, paired with clear guidance and tools developed locally and designed for each step of the care continuum.

 

Stage II: Expansion of curriculum to include academic detailing of local pharmacists and other professionals to assist in coordination of the care of individuals prescribed controlled substances with an eye towards appropriate use of medication and identification of problematic administration. This curriculum will be developed in coordination with pharmacy professionals.

 

Stage III: Development of patient education and public messaging campaign highlighting the importance of safe prescribing, need for careful monitoring of individuals on controlled substances. Additionally, educational tools will be incorporated regarding the risks of substance use disorder and how to get help when substance use disorder is identified.

OPAL: Overdose Prevention Assistance Locally

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The York Opioid Collaborative, in partnership with community partners, is developing an online platform for community distribution of Narcan.  Through community discussions we encounter barriers to access and availability of Narcan for individuals at risk and their support network.  The focus of the program will be on delivery of Narcan and education to individuals about how to recognize and respond to an opioid overdose.  The online platform will serve as a repository of information for York and Adams County residents about Narcan, as well as guidance for organizations looking to receive Narcan for dissemination to at risk individuals.   We are also developing awareness campaigns to break down myths about Narcan and reduce stigma.

Visit www.opalpa.org for more information about this program.

Overdose Fatality Review

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The York County Overdose Fatality Review Team was established by a joint initiative between several partners of the York Opioid Collaborative. It is a data use strategy of the Public Health and Safety Team. The establishment of an OFR was a recommendation from our pilot with the CDC Foundation. The multidisciplinary, multi-agency review team was assembled to conduct confidential reviews of individual fatal overdose cases with expert consultation from a wide array of stakeholders. The purpose of an overdose fatality review is prevention. The York County OFRT examines individual, organizational and system level factors related to overdoses. Safeguar(x)d will provide academic detailing to prescribers around prescribing guidelines, provide education to patients about safe storage and disposal and promote discussions with primary care settings for referral to treatment when needed.

Sharps Disposal Research

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The York Opioid Collaborative received a grant through the Memorial Health Fund for research and capacity building for a community-wide sharps disposal program. Every day, hundreds of people in Pennsylvania self-inject licit (i.e.. insulin) and illicit (i.e.. heroin) drugs. Many individuals are not properly instructed how or where to properly dispose of sharps. When sharps are improperly dispose of they put the community at risk. A community sharps disposal and collection program will reduce the utilization of used sharps, risk for accidental needle stick, potential transmission of infectious disease, and needles being improperly discarded into the environment. This project will focus on education/awareness, outreach and the development of a pilot disposal program with stakeholders. The goal is to identify the best disposal/collection options for York County.