Addiction Policy Forum Blog

4 min read

New Mexico Peer Education Project Nationally Recognized for Harm Reduction Program in Criminal Justice System

By Addiction Policy Forum on October 3, 2018

For Immediate Release                                                                                                                           Contact:
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1 min read

New Mexico Peer Education Project

By Addiction Policy Forum on October 3, 2018



New Mexico Peer Education Project trains incarcerated individuals to educate their peers about substance use disorders, harm reduction, infectious diseases and basic health literacy. Providing health education to inmates before they are released from prison offers an opportunity to reduce the harms of substance use and other unhealthy behaviors in the community and provides peer educators with skills that can be used in their careers.
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Pennsylvania’s Warm Hand-Off

By Addiction Policy Forum on September 6, 2018


Pennsylvania’s Warm Hand-Off requires all county offices that provide drug and alcohol programs to establish protocols for seamless transitions for patients leaving the emergency department and entering substance use disorder treatment in their communities. The goal is to increase the number of Pennsylvanians who are in recovery.
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2 min read

Technical Assistance for Emergency Departments to Respond to Addiction Initiative

By Addiction Policy Forum on March 22, 2018

The opioid epidemic has resulted in rapidly escalating utilization of health system inpatient and emergency medicine services. Between 2005 and 2014, the national rate of opioid-related inpatient stays increased 64.1 percent and the national rate of opioid-related emergency department (ED) visits increased 99.4 percent.

New data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that this trend has continued. In the sixteen states reviewed by the CDC, ED visits for suspected opioid overdoses increased 30 percent from July 2016 through September 2017. Two of the sixteen states, Wisconsin and Delaware, experienced increases of more than 100 percent.

Patients with substance use disorder may have little or no interaction with the healthcare system. A hospital or emergency department may be the only place they receive care. In some instances, this will be for an overdose, and in other cases it may be for an injury or infection related to their substance use. This makes the hospital a critical intervention point for engaging people with SUD and linking them to treatment.

Recognizing the critical need for improved emergency department interventions for patients with substance use disorder, the Addiction Policy Forum is today announcing our Technical Assistance for Emergency Departments to Respond to Addiction initiative.

In the coming months, APF will publish evidence-based protocols for responding to addiction and overdose in the emergency department along with the research to demonstrate their effectiveness.
APF will provide technical assistance to emergency departments and other hospital clinical settings to implement evidence-based best practices for treating patients with substance use disorders. In addition to offering subject-matter expertise on best practices, APF will:
  • Map local SUD treatment providers, recovery supports, and other services;
  • Convene local SUD treatment providers to develop relationships and processes for referrals from hospital care to community-based SUD treatment;
  • Provide content and deliver trainings for hospital staff to implement evidence-based protocols;
  • Support development of IT infrastructure to facilitate and track transfers of patients from hospital to community-based care.
We have already begun piloting our technical assistance efforts at Berger Health System in Pickaway County, Ohio and three Mercy Health hospitals in the Cincinnati area.
We are supporting legislation at the federal level to improve integration of addiction interventions in emergency departments.
And we will be releasing a toolkit for emergency department and hospital administrators to implement best practices for addressing addiction.
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1 min read

Ocean County Prosecutor - Blue HART (Heroin Addiction Recovery & Treatment)

By Addiction Policy Forum on March 6, 2018

Blue HART is a community-based collaboration between law enforcement, clinicians, and first responders that aims to help individuals struggling with substance use disorder before the event of an overdose. Select police stations act as intake sites and have set days when individuals struggling with SUD can come in and ask for help. Participants undergo a background check so that the program can develop a holistic view of their situation and begin tracking their case. Participants are immediately taken to a partnering clinic where they’re asses by a clinician who connects them with care. Every participant is connected with a recovery coach who is in recovery and acts as a mentor helping them navigate the process of treatment and recovery.                                                                                    

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Maryland Overdose Response Program

By Addiction Policy Forum on April 12, 2017

The Maryland Overdose Response Program aims to provide education and training for individuals on overdose response- including the administration of Naloxone. Training is offered to the general public and targeted toward at-risk community members.

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