Photo Credit: City of Paterson

Paterson’s Targeted Solution to the Opioid Crisis

2021 Certification Level: Silver

Photo Credit: City of Paterson

Uncovering Hotspots

To settle on ORT’s target area and outreach strategy, COAR and Dr. Piza’s teams needed to answer an important question: Where and when were opioid overdoses — especially multiple overdose events involving the same individual — happening in Paterson?

  1. About 22% of the thousands of overdose events over a two-year period occurred on just 2% of the city’s downtown street segments.
  2. Thirty percent of overdose victims Paterson police officers and EMTs responded to in that period were repeat overdosers.
  3. In the small downtown area where many overdose events were concentrated, about 20% of overdose victims responders encountered in the period analyzed refused transportation to the hospital, where they could receive treatment services.
Photo Credit: City of Paterson

Outreach in Action

John Reagan, an addiction recovery specialist who has been part of an ORT outreach team since its start, calls the program a “game changer” for opioid addicts in Paterson. “I’ve never seen anything like it. You’re on the front line, gaining people’s trust,” says Reagan, director of the Recovery Center at the social services organization Eva’s Village in Paterson. Targeting the highest-need area and promoting MAT — which involves both a medication like suboxone and clinical counseling — is yielding results, he says.

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