In The News

Houston ED Opioid System Integrates Assertive Outreach with Comprehensive Care for Opioid Use Disorder

Journal of Emergency Medical Services

Eight months ago, 35-year old Adam Smith was living in his car in Houston, dealing with the fallout from opioid use disorder (i.e., addiction). Even after years of seeking help, he was struggling to pick up the pieces after spending time in jail, ruining relationships, being let go from jobs and losing homes. Adam is one of more than two million people dealing with opioid use disorder, a devastating brain disease with negative consequences to individuals, as well as their families and communities.

Adam was fortunate to have been connected to HEROES, a proactive treatment program, and has been sober ever since … but not everyone is so lucky. Numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show more than 130 people die every day from opioid overdose. Many of those fatalities start with a call to 9-1-1 for help following an overdose, making EMS a key player in the epidemic.

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