Family, Health, Politics

Olszewski announces new Baltimore County Quick Response Team to provide overdose care, connections to treatment

TOWSON, MD—Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski this week announced the launch of a Quick Response Team pilot program that will provide mobile, on-demand overdose care, resources, and harm reduction services to respond in real time to residents experiencing overdoses.

“We are committed to combatting the deadly opioid epidemic – and preventing overdose deaths by ensuring residents have access to critical and timely resources will absolutely save lives,” said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski. “The Quick Response Team pilot program will deliver important wraparound services for those suffering from addiction in Baltimore County, work to stop overdoses before they begin, and empower residents to reclaim their lives.”

“In addition to responding in real time, the QRT will also focus on post-overdose outreach to connect with previous overdose victims,” said Baltimore County Health Officer Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch. “During these connections, the team can assist with a variety of services from helping to schedule appointments with Medication Assisted Treatment centers to coordination of transportation to substance rehabilitation locations or providing harm reduction supplies.

Funded as part of a $12.7 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the QRT is a cross-departmental partnership between Baltimore County Department of Health and Human Services and the Baltimore County Fire Department, which will deploy peer recovery specialists and EMS clinicians trained specifically for providing outreach services to non-fatal overdose victims and their families.

The QRT pilot will begin by operating two days per week and will geographically target and monitor calls for service and respond in real time to overdose incidents, offering immediate medical care and follow-up as needed, access to a diverse set of harm reduction services, including free naloxone, fentanyl test strips and clean needles, and provide experienced support offering access to treatment and other resources.

According to the Baltimore County Opioid Overdose Dashboard, which utilizes Baltimore County Police Department data, residents and visitors to Baltimore County tragically experienced 279 fatal overdoses and 861 non-fatal overdoses in 2022.

Additional Baltimore County overdose data is available at the Baltimore County Overdose Dashboard.

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