Between May 2019 and August 2022, MedStar crews have treated 1,887 patients the crew believed were suffering from an overdose. The number of overdose patients treated each month has been increasing at a concerning rate. Last month, MedStar crews treated 87 overdose patients, an average of 3 patients per day.
To try and help reduce the incidence of repeat overdoses in the community, MedStar and the Recovery Resource Council have partnered on a special program designed to provide additional resources to patients who suffer an overdose.
A MedStar Community Paramedic and a substance abuse counselor from the Recovery Resource Council follow up on overdose patients that MedStar crews treat in the field. During the follow up visit, patients are offered substance abuse counseling and referrals to community resources.
Families of the overdose victims are provided with Narcan, a drug that can reverse an opioid overdose, as well as CPR training.
Since the program started in January 2022:
- 186 people or families have received at least one program service
- 140 have been connected to a peer support specialist
- 147 family members have received hands only CPR training
- 138 people have received a health and wellness screening and were referred to other community resources
- 436 Narcan kits have been provided to 129 families
This initiative is funded though the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.