Frontline Foundations and local emergency responders form Quick Response Team for overdoses

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On Nov. 6, 2018, the City of LaPorte will launch its first-ever Quick Response Team (QRT). The QRT program will be deployed throughout the city in response to a high volume of drug overdose 9-1-1 calls.

The QRT is an outreach team comprised of a LaPorte police officer, a medic from the LaPorte Fire Department, and treatment counselors from Frontline Foundations. Within 72 hours of an overdose, this team will visit the individual struggling and connect them with the resources they need. Frontline’s treatment counselors will work one-on-one to help these individuals connect with treatment programs.

“Our team is comprised of some of our city’s finest first responders and expert treatment counselors who can reach out to our friends and neighbors in crisis and help them take the first step in getting help. We have found that most people in these situations don’t even know where to begin. In this case, we can go to them, listen, and help them take the first step,” said Christine Michiaels, Frontline’s Quick Response Team coordinator.

Amber Hensell, executive director of Frontline Foundations, added, “That 72-hour window is a critical time and can be the difference between life and death. We cannot sit and wait for people to come to us. We want to go to these people and help pull them from the despair they might feel trapped in. We want them to know that addiction doesn’t have to be a life sentence. There is hope.”

The goal of piloting the QRT team in LaPorte is to reduce overdoses, increase the number of people getting the treatment they need, and to make sure that these individuals and their families understand that someone out there knows and cares. Additionally, this is a system that has been proven effective. In Summit County, Ohio, where the QRT program was previously piloted, they experienced an 80% success rate in getting individuals into treatment and a 30% reduction in opioid-related overdoses.

“It is important for people to understand what the QRT is. We don’t want anyone to fear the Quick Response Team. We are not there to make arrests. We are there to help. We are the first responders who respond to these tragic overdose situations, and a lot of times, we don’t even know what happens to these individuals. We are honored to have the opportunity to be a part of the QRT so that we can go back and say, ‘You aren’t alone. We can help you now, so we don’t have to see you again with a tragic outcome,’” said LaPorte Police Chief Tom Owens.

Mayor Mark Krentz also shared his hopes for the impact QRT could have in LaPorte. “I am extremely hopeful that our Quick Response Team will make a real impact on the drug epidemic in our community. I hope this new approach helps reinforce the message that we care about our community and that we are always looking for ways to support those who are struggling.”

Frontline Foundations is a nonprofit that serves as a source of hope to men and women suffering from drug and alcohol abuse by providing an effective treatment and recovery support system. For more information, visit FrontlineFoundations.com.

3 Responses to “Frontline Foundations and local emergency responders form Quick Response Team for overdoses”

  1. CONCERNED

    Nov 07. 2018

    Why isn’t there a “Quick Response Team” to help the children/family of these people. Why is it that when children get taken from parents and another relative/person takes said children, where is the IMMEDIATE help for the families ? Where is the counseling for the children that think they are unimportant and unloved because mommy or daddy wont stay off drugs long enough to care for and love them. Where is the financial aid and programs to help the families that take on the financial, mental and physical burden of these children ? These people need help too and for these druggies to be out doing drugs while families are struggling to support and take care of these children is not right. They should be on work release and in a treatment center while their children are in someone else’s care. Why make it easy for the druggies and difficult for the families ? If the druggies were working 8+ hours a day and then locked up in a treatment center, it would be much easier to stop doing drugs instead of being out there partying while family members and tax payers are footing the bill. Locke em up until they are clean and working for years before release.

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    • 911worker

      Nov 08. 2018

      I totally agree that family support is needed. However let’s consider this from a triage view. In triage, you assist the most critical first. Considering the very provable difficulty we’ve had in the past regarding finding treatment for these people, the family needs to be a secondary thought right now. Not because they dont deserve or need help, but because we need to slow the hemmorage before removing the splinters. Theres minimal funding and resources available. Locking people in boxes with other drug addicts is no way to solve this. Making them work then locking them up is dictating the course of their life, and you dont have that right. We cannot force people to accept help. It wont stick even if we did. There a plethora of details about these stories that are not “right”, I agree. But forcing our hand on them will do nothing. The US has the highest incarceration numbers on the planet, and the largest simultaneous heroin problem. If locking them up solved this, it would already be over.

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  2. lawman

    Nov 07. 2018

    great points made here. all I ever see are the free backpack plans and food programs for kids as their drugging parents spend that money on their habir

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