Challenge 3: Supports for first responders.
First responders -- including public safety officials, community response teams and emergency room staff -- have been working hard to prevent overdose deaths. They see the tragedy of the opiate crisis first hand, have had to work longer or stop doing other work to prevent overdose deaths and can be discouraged when they see the same patients fail to get clean.
Hacks might include:
Tools to get volunteers to show support frontline responders in their work (e.g., volunteering to mow their lawn as a thank you, etc.). Also part of the Volunteer challenge under Recovery.
Community building tools (e.g., social network, online platforms with resources like volunteer local mental health workers) to connect the responder community to groups that can support their mental health in dealing with overdoses (e.g., volunteer counsellors, a support group for responders)
Tools to better manage staffing for responders. Challenge teams should consider how to use overdose data to predict when increased staffing will be needed and to manage that increased staff through an ‘on-call’ system or similar. An ideal solution would integrates with existing staffing systems for Fire/EMS, ER staff and other response groups.
An online platform or another system (e.g., physical in ER) to post success stories to keep front line responders motivated.
Challenge 4: Naloxone distribution.
Naloxone is an important tool in reducing overdose deaths. Many first responders now carry Naloxone.
New models to more effectively distribute naloxone throughout the community, including 1) better physical storage models (e.g., secure distribution points at local businesses); 2) Tech platforms that enable responders to “call for help” to a Naloxone carrier when an OD has occurred. Challenge teams should consider:
Optimizing baseline distribution, using overdose data
- Ability to track the use of Naloxone in the community over time, to improve the system