Hackensack Meridian Health Bayshore Medical Center recently launched the Opioid Overdose Recovery Program (OORP) designed to help combat drug addiction in the Bayshore region. Made possible through a state grant and provided by the RWJBarnabas Health Institute for Prevention, the program is designed to provide peer-to-peer bedside counseling with the goal of getting individuals who have been reversed by Narcan into an appropriate treatment program following an opioid overdose.
“Individuals experiencing an overdose are – in many cases – revived with the help of drugs such as Narcan by the local first responders such as paramedics, police, or fire personnel before even reaching the hospital,” says Rajiv Prasad, M.D., medical director, Department of Emergency Medicine at Bayshore Medical Center. “However, these people often still require medical attention and intervention, which is where the grant is proving extremely beneficial.”
Once a patient who has been reversed by Narcan enters the hospital, a call goes out to a designated OORP Recovery Coach who is trained to work with people battling addiction. The Recovery Coach is then deployed to the hospital where they offer a bedside intervention in an attempt to convince the patient to enter an appropriate treatment program.
“Studies show that if a patient enters a treatment facility directly from a hospital setting, they have around a 70 percent recovery success rate,” Dr. Prasad says. “Patients, who elect to return home, often find themselves in the same situation again, or at minimum, continuing to use on a regular basis.”
Part of a two year pilot program that launched in 2015 by the state of New Jersey, the OORP grant is funded by the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services, the Governor’s Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, and the Department of Children and Families. The program was initially offered at select hospitals in the five counties with the highest overdose statistics, including Hackensack Meridian Health Jersey Shore University Medical Center and Hackensack Meridian Health Ocean Medical Center. The OORP program was expanded this summer to include Bayshore Medical Center.
“There is a large need for this program throughout the state, but particularly in Monmouth and Ocean counties,” says Connie Greene, vice president for the RWJBarnabas Health Institute for Prevention. “Although we are still limited in funding, the program is set to expand to all 21 counties in the near future thanks to additional funding.”
Although well trained and equipped with Narcan, the police battle addiction on a daily basis. In 2016, there were 164 opioid related deaths in Monmouth County.
“Opioid addiction is a big problem in this area,” says Chief John Mioduszewski of the Holmdel Township Police. “The opportunity to connect the hospital to this program with the ultimate goal of reducing drug use in the Bayshore area of Monmouth County makes every local chief optimistic that we will see a decline in this epidemic in the near future.”
Since implementing the program on July 1, Bayshore Medical Center has provided 34 bedside interventions by the OORP Recovery Coaches, of which 64 percent have entered into an appropriate treatment/recovery program. The ultimate goal of the OORP program is to get these patients into long-term recovery.
“This is a great program and we are thankful to be included in it,” says Dr. Prasad. “I’m hopeful that there will come a day when it’s no longer needed, but for now, it’s an incredible resource that we are hoping will help to reduce the amount of overdoses we see at Bayshore Medical Center, and that my colleagues see at hospitals throughout the county.”
About Hackensack Meridian Health Bayshore Medical Center
Bayshore Medical Center is a 211-bed not-for-profit community hospital located in Holmdel, New Jersey, providing health care programs and services in all major medical disciplines, including: emergency medicine, cardiac catheterization, surgical services, wound care, sleep services, diagnostic imaging, women’s services with digital mammography, as well as a designated primary stroke center. Its Center for Bariatrics is one of the most comprehensive in the region offering free informational sessions, pre-surgical education and evaluation, personal guidance through the surgical process, nutritional support, exercise components and support groups. For more information, visit www.bayshorehospital.org.