Prevent Overdose, Save Lives


Delaware County Council urges families struggling
with addiction to contact Certified Recovery Specialists

Recovery

Prevent Overdose, Save Lives

Delaware County Councilman Dave White marked Overdose Awareness Day on Wednesday, Aug. 31, by spotlighting the county’s Certified Recovery Specialist program that can connect people struggling with addiction to treatment. Shown at the announcement are Recovery Specialist team members from the Office of Behavioral Health, from left, Anthony Fluellen, case management supervisor; Linda Moore-Singleton, administrator, Councilman White, and Recovery Specialists Bernadette Banta and Joel Shafer-Harris. To reach the CRS program call 610-713-2384.

Recovery

Delaware County Councilman Dave White joined members of the county’s Certified Recovery Specialist team, showing off their “Not One More” bracelets in recognition of Overdose Awareness Day on Wednesday, Aug. 31. The Certified Recovery Specialists work to connect people struggling with addiction to treatment. Shown at the announcement are Recovery Specialist team members from the Office of Behavioral Health, from left, and CRS Joel Shafer-Harris, Anthony Fluellen, case management supervisor; Linda Moore-Singleton, administrator, Councilman White, and CRS Bernadette Banta. To reach the CRS program call 610-713-2384.

 

Delaware County Councilman Dave White recognized Aug. 31 as International Overdose Awareness Day by spotlighting the county’s Certified Recovery Specialist program that attempts to connect people struggling with addiction to treatment.

“The tragedy of overdose is far too frequent in today’s world, but what we need to stress is that overdose is preventable,” White said. “In Delaware County we are very proactive in the fight against heroin and prescription drug abuse. As part of our efforts, we want to let people know about our Certified Recovery Specialist (CRS) program. We want people struggling with addiction – or their families -- to reach out, connect with a Certified Recovery Specialist, and get into treatment.”

“You don’t have to wait until you’ve experienced an overdose, or been revived by Narcan,” White said. “We want to help before that happens.”

In April, the Delaware County Office of Behavioral Health launched the CRS program that connects overdose survivors with treatment. The program is funded through a state grant.

“Reviving an overdose victim with Narcan is critical, but it’s only one step. The next step is to connect that person with treatment and breaking the cycle of addiction. That’s the only way to save lives,” White said.

The Certified Recovery Specialists work with emergency rooms, police, crisis centers, physicians and families to reach people who recently survived an overdose. They offer treatment referrals, support services and information on insurance and treatment options. The program is free.

Since the program started in April, the specialists have engaged and outreached to over 350 people, including overdose survivors.

White was joined at the meeting by Recovery Specialist team members Linda Moore-Singleton, assistant drug and alcohol administrator, Anthony Fluellen, case management supervisor, and two Certified Recovery Specialists, Joel Shafer-Harris and Bernadette Banta.

Brochures detailing how the program works are available from the Office of Behavioral Health. For information people can call 610-713-2384.

The CRS team members have firsthand experience with the recovery and treatment process so they can offer peer-to-peer assistance to individuals and their families.

“People often feel helpless and hopeless in the face of addiction. But these Certified Recovery Specialists, or CRSs, are one lifeline that people can use to connect people with treatment,” White said. “We want all of our stakeholders, from the crisis centers to the police, to know about this program. We want families to know this help is available.     We want doctors and hospitals to make referrals.”