Providing low-threshold medication treatment for opioid use disorder via mobile outreach to hard-to-reach populations in Philadelphia
Launched in July 2019, Project RIDE (Rapid Initiation of Drug Treatment Engagement) is a project through the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine that offers low-threshold medication treatment with buprenorphine via mobile outreach. Treatment is provided to a hard-to-reach population, many experiencing unstable housing, for up to 30 days in an area of South Philadelphia that has been hit hard by the opioid crisis. The overall goal is to increase initiation and engagement in medication treatment with buprenorphine.
The mobile outreach team consists of a nurse practitioner, case manager, and peer recovery specialist and is available three days a week at the same location. To overcome stigma associated with medication treatment, the team will also make house calls for those who fear that neighbors will see them going to the mobile unit. In addition to having the first dose of buprenorphine usually delivered within the day, other services include:
- testing for HIV and Hepatitis C
- naloxone distribution and harm reduction education
- access to a case manager to connect to services
- a peer support specialist to provide recovery coaching
More information on the program can be found in this news article.