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Blue CARES is a collaborative program between Berks County Law Enforcement and the Council on Chemical Abuse (COCA) that encourages individuals to seek treatment for addiction after being revived with NARCAN® Nasal Spray by a police officer.

Following an overdose, a COCA representative and Berks County law enforcement officer visit the home of the overdose survivor and family. Together, they engage with the survivor, offering to help him or her access treatment and/or support services. If the individual accepts help, an immediate referral is made for appropriate services. If no one is home during a Blue CARES visit, the police officer and COCA representatives leave literature about substance use disorder treatment, as well as information about resources and services available.

Blue CARES Goals

Blue Cares 2019 Statistics

In 2019 Berks County Law Enforcement officers conducted 82 home visits resulting in 36 engagements with the overdose survivor or their family. When we were able to contact the overdose survivor, 37%  accepted a referral to a substance use disorder treatment professional. We were also able to contact a family member 28 times, providing them with education and information about support groups and services in their communities. We also gave out 26 Narcan kits during Blue CARES home visits.

What Happens if No One is Home?

Even when no one is available at the time of the home visit, the police officer and certified recovery specialist always leave information behind, including their contact information. Often times a family member or overdose survivor makes contact after the initial visit, and a referral can be made at that point.

What Police Departments Participate

As of December 2019 all Berks County Police Departments participate in the Blue CARES Program, in addition to the Berks County Detectives and Penn State Berks Police Department.

2019 Berks County Blue Cares Stats

82Home visits by law enforcement

36Engagements with survivors

37%Accepted treatment referral