Innovative program in Massachusetts that sends outreach teams to the residence of overdose victims to provide access to treatment and support for the survivor and their family
Plymouth County Outreach (PCO) is a multifaceted collaboration of the 27 municipal police departments in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, working together to make treatment more accessible to those suffering from opioid use disorder and other substance use disorders. There is also multi-sector collaboration with hospitals, treatment centers, recovery centers, and faith-based leaders.
Each department assigns outreach officers to visit the residence of individuals who have experienced an overdose within 12-72 hours of the event. Officers are in plain clothes and an unmarked cruiser, and they provide outreach alongside a PCO recovery coach and a licensed clinician and/or social worker. Each department also assigns data designees whose job is to keep the Critical Incident Management System updated.
PCO offers support, resources, and access to treatment to the overdose survivor, as well as offering help and resources to the survivor’s family members and/or loved ones. These resources include information on the county’s drop-in centers in East Bridgewater, Plymouth and Wareham, as well as access to naloxone and naloxone training.
More information on the program can be found in these presentations here and here. This public safety-healthcare system collaboration has been recognized in the journal here. The program has released a 2021 annual report with evaluation data.