(Quick Response Teams)

West Virginia leads the nation in opioid overdose deaths and local agencies are joining together to offer in-home follow-up services to combat the crisis. 

Most people understand that opioid use disorder (addiction) is very difficult to overcome. The effects often leave the individual, their loved ones and the community looking for help to address the immediate and long term challenges. 

Quick Response Team (QRT) is a collaborative program that joins Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers and behavioral specialists to respond back to the opioid use disorder individual within 24 to 72 hours after an overdose to offer training and assistance in getting into rehabilitation programs.

When EMS crews respond to an acute overdose situation, the administration of naloxone (an narcotic reversal medication) and additional on-scene emergency care can restore breathing and consciousness to the patient. While the EMS personnel may have ‘saved’ the patient’s life, the underlying issues of opioid use disorder remain. EMS may be called back to the same individual at a later date with a secondary overdose situation. 

Substance use disorder individuals may find it difficult to access the programs that lead to long term recovery. 

The goal of QRT is to interact with the individual, in their home, at a possible ‘moment of willingness’ where the impact of the recent EMS response has resonated with them and hopefully they are ready to begin the process of recovery. Studies reveal that an appropriate time for these interactions would be 24 to 72 hours after the initial 911 – EMS contact. 

During these QRT visits the behavioral health specialist discusses various opioid treatment options and works to get accepting individuals directly into a recovery program. EMS provides naloxone and CPR information to the client and/or their family and friends. 

Quick Response Team (QRT) interactions have been shown to have a positive impact on the opioid crisis and is an essential tool to combat this devastating crisis.

Related Resources

In the News

Beckley’s The Register-Herald Newspaper wrote an article describing how the QRT works. Check out their site to read it.