WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - In February, the Coastal Horizons Quick Response Team had connected with 66 survivors of opioid overdoses, getting them into treatment.
Less than six months later, that number is up to 148.
Recently, the Wilmington Police Department noted a rise in overdoses in our community, and the QRT confirms it.
“We have started to see a lot of different referrals," said Buffy Taylor, QRT leader. "We are starting to get an average of 12, sometimes 15 overdoses (monthly) in the community, so it’s definitely picking up.”
Because of the need for the QRT and the group’s success rate helping those who have overdosed, the team has received a third year of government funding.
Taylor said she believes that funding is indicative of the work being done at Coastal Horizons, but there is more than one way to look at it.
“It tells us that the opioid crisis and substance abuse overdoses overall are continuing," said Kenny House, Coastal Horizons clinical director. "Meaning it’s not something that we just heard something about a couple years ago and now it’s gone. It’s still here with us and so that’s the sad and sobering part of this, is that we have a crisis that has not gone away yet.”
Even with the QRT success rate at 82 percent, success at Coastal Horizons is determined differently. Just getting a person to commit to treatment is enough to be deemed successful.
“When people sometimes think about success rates, they think about people being cured, but addiction doesn’t have this kind of component of cure," House said. "So, it’s most important to get people engaged in treatment, being able to trust the process. That gives them that next step towards recovery.”
Taylor said although the QRT has been doing well, there are still a few things she said can be improved, including working with hospitals and using local resources to cover “gaps” in the area more often.