article originally published in the Summer 2019 SOR Justice-Focused Update Newsletter 8/22/2019
The Treatment Support staff reached out to Brandon Costerison, the MO-HOPE Project Manager for the Saint Louis National Council for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (NCADA) to discuss the MO-HOPE Project and its development across Missouri. NCADA, UMSL-MIMH, and Missouri DMH collaborate on the MO-HOPE Project to spread overdose awareness, provide education on how to reverse an opioid overdose, supply individuals with life-saving naloxone, and refer individuals to treatment when they are ready to take that step toward recovery. Brandon explains MO-HOPE's expansion to include overdose education and naloxone training (OEND) with Missouri Police to assist them in their development of post-overdose interventions and connections to resources:
"As the MO-HOPE Project has continued to expand we have looked for innovative ways to reach those uninsured people who are at high risk of witnessing or experiencing an opioid overdose. Often these programs are headed up by social service organizations, faith based entities, or emergency medical service providers. We are always looking for new opportunities for partnership and outreach. Early in 2019 we had the opportunity to launch a program that is the first-of-its-kind in Missouri.
The St. Louis County Police Department and the Eureka Police Department have both seen dramatic increases in the number of overdose calls they receive. In an effort to better help the communities they serve, they launched initiatives to connect overdose survivors with resources for pursuing treatment options as well as supplying them with naloxone. Police officers providing this information as well as leaving behind naloxone has been wildly successful in other states where it has been tried and we are hopeful that these pilot programs in the St. Louis region will yield results of saving lives and helping people access treatment."
A special thanks to Brandon Costerison for the update on the work that the MO-HOPE Project is doing across Missouri.