The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) Office of Drug Control Policy today awarded a $263,000 grant to Prestera Center to establish a Quick Response Team (QRT) program in the Kanawha Valley. A QRT is a three-pronged effort by medical professionals, mental health specialists and law enforcement who contact individuals who overdose within 72 hours of their overdose in an attempt to get them into a treatment program.
“Governor Jim Justice and the West Virginia Legislature, through Senate Bill 272, laid the groundwork for these types of initiatives,” said DHHR Cabinet Secretary Bill J. Crouch. “This was legislation proposed by the Governor and signed into law last Friday. The ultimate priority of this legislation and projects such as this one in Charleston, is to engage individuals with treatment options at every opportunity thereby reducing future overdoses.”
Working with local communities, Prestera Center will create a QRT program in the Kanawha Valley with its partners: Charleston Comprehensive Treatment Center, Charleston Police Department, Charleston Fire Department and EMS, Highland Hospital, and Thomas Health.
“This funding will equip us with the tools needed to establish a QRT to offer not only immediate treatment to residents who overdose, but support and encouragement to help them through recovery,” said Karen Yost, Prestera Chief Executive Officer. “I look forward to seeing the impact of this project on countless individuals and families in the area.”
The Kanawha Valley’s QRT will assess the needs and assets of the individual and the support network to develop an individualized strategy for change and recovery. The QRT will then follow up with overdose survivors within 72 hours of the overdose to connect the individual to services and supports in the region. Supportive resources will also be offered to family members.
“The expansion of outreach services such as the Quick Response Team is critical to curbing West Virginia’s drug epidemic,” said Crouch. “Measures to reverse overdoses and arrange treatment in a collaborative and timely manner are essential as DHHR’s Office of Drug Control Policy implements the State’s Opioid Response Plan.”
Crouch said his hope is to have a QRT in every major city within West Virginia.