Team Organized in Estill County to Fight Overdose, Addiction

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According to a 2019 report produced by the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Branch, Estill County had the highest overdose death rate in Kentucky (based on the population adjusted per 100,000 inhabitants) with 11 deaths that were attributed to illicit or prescription drugs.

Mercy Health – Marcum and Wallace Hospital is excited to announce the implementation of the HELP (Healing, Empowering, Living Program) Team. The HELP Team, also known as the Quick Response Team (QRT), has been developed with funding from the Bureau of Justice Assistance. 

The purpose of the HELP Team is to provide a coordinated response to the opioid crisis in Estill County. The HELP Team will be comprised of a Peer Support Specialist, Community Paramedic and Behavioral Health Consultant. The goal of the team is to build relationships that are respectful and work hand in hand with people to get the help they need. Team members can distribute and train family and community members as well as first responders in how to administer Naloxone, which is used to reverse the lethal effects of opioids.

The HELP Team will meet with the client and provide resources depending on their current state in the addition or recovery process. The team has access to resources including inpatient or outpatient services, medication assisted therapy (MAT), medical detox, Alcoholics Anonymous/Narcotics Anonymous (AA/NA) meetings, or peer led groups.  The client will be provided education about substance use disorder, harm reduction, and behavioral health services. 

“Estill and surrounding counties have been experiencing an opioid epidemic for years and the COVID-19 pandemic has added another layer in combating this crisis,” said Trena Stocker, Marcum and Wallace Hospital President. “The HELP Team will be a catalyst to reduce the overall burden of substance and opioid use disorder that is plaguing our communities.”

For more information about the HELP Team, contact 606-726-8244.