In 2017, there were more than 700 cases of opioid overdose in Guilford County and 100 verified deaths due to opioid overdose.
A group of local people from across the board want to see overdoses and deaths stop. That’s also the name of a new program they’ve created -- Guilford County STOP – or GC STOP for short. STOP stands for solution to the opioid problem.
Even when revived with Naloxone, also known as Narcan, many addicts go on to use and overdose again and again. It’s a scenario Chris Wilson with Guilford County EMS has seen on repeat.
“It certainly takes a toll on our providers, running overdose after overdose,” said Wilson.
GC STOP gives first responders and hospital personnel new tools to help addicts. Those who have overdosed will receive a recovery kit including Narcan and information about a 24-hour hotline which connects the addict to a survivor in recovery. With the addict's permission, EMS or hospital personnel forwards their contact information to the program and a survivor contacts them rapidly and repeatedly with support and information about treatment.
“This is really a novel solution. Before we would go out and we would be with the patient and we really didn’t have a lot to offer them of how to link them to those services and treatments. Now we have a process in place,” said Wilson.
$250,000 from the state made the program possible and should be enough to carry it through the first year.
The ultimate goal is reducing opioid-related deaths in Guilford County by 20 percent.
The GC STOP 24-hour hotline number is: (336) 505-8122.