LEXINGTON, S.C. — A Midlands nonprofit recovery center is trying a new approach to getting addicts into recovery.
The Courage Center in Lexington is a recovery place for young people and their families dealing with addiction.
This week, in a partnership with Lexington Co. EMS, they have rolled out a new pilot program called CORE. It stands for Coordinated Opioid Response and Engagement and aims at bringing those who have just suffered from an overdose into recovery.
Hunter Welch is the Program Manager at the Courage Center who tells us anyone being transported to Lexington Medical Center in a Lexington Co. EMS who is administered Narcan- the drug given to someone who’s overdosing on opiods- will be given a 'CORE Pouch.' “In the pouch we have a resource card, an instructional card- letting them know what they should be expecting next, and a cell phone with 60 pre-paid minutes.”
The goal is for the person to either call The Courage Center to get in touch with their recovery coaches or the Courage Center will call them on that phone within 24 hours.
“We lower the barrier of actually getting the process started," Hunter explains, "With many people dealing with addiction, especially in a low spot- the motivation to get out of it- just the effort, it seems too much. So something that may seem as simple as picking up the phone and calling a treatment center, it’s just not going to be realistic for these people.” The CORE pouch and program makes it almost zero effort for the person hopefully leading them down a different path.
“Our coach will be immediately someone to talk to, someone to get in their ear, and let them know ‘ you know you don’t have to go back to what you were just doing. You can get out of this now,'" Hunter shares.
The program is in its pilot stage and they hope to spread it further in the future. But as of Wednesday, one pouch has already been administered.
Another aspect of the CORE program is the establishment of an Overdose Fatality Review (OFR) Committee that will work with the Lexington County coroner to identify gaps in overdose fatalities and work to find prevention opportunities. They will look at different locations in the county and the types of drugs involved in the fatal overdose. They say the goal is to "ultimately recommend strategies to prevent first-time and reduce repeat overdoses."