Delco observes Overdose Awareness Day

In observation of International Overdose Awareness Day, Delaware County Council spotlighted the county’s Certified Recovery Specialist program that attempts to connect people struggling with addiction to treatment.

Delaware County Councilman Dave White (second from left) joins members of the county’s Certified Recovery Specialist team, showing off their “Not One More” bracelets in recognition of Overdose Awareness Day.

Delaware County Councilman Dave White (second from right) joins members of the county’s Certified Recovery Specialist team, showing off their “Not One More” bracelets in recognition of Overdose Awareness Day.

“The tragedy of overdose is far too frequent in today’s world, but what we need to stress is that overdose is preventable,” said Councilman Dave White. “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 program. We want people struggling with addiction – or their families -- to reach out, connect with a Certified Recovery Specialist, and get into treatment.”

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 [a drug designed to revive victims who are overdosing on heroin] 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.

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.

According to some reports, seven people die every day in Pennsylvania from drug related causes. Not known are the number of persons who overdose but survive.

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