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In response to the epidemic of opioid overdoses in Berks County, through a contract with Treatment Access and Service Center (TASC) and in partnership with the local hospitals, COCA began a Warm Handoff initiative. This initiative was designed to reach out to opioid overdose survivors and engage them in the process of treatment and recovery. The Warm Handoff was set up to provide for a Recovery Support Specialist (RSS) to be “on call” and meet with opioid overdose survivors at the hospital emergency room and assist them in accepting and accessing addiction treatment. This “on-call” Warm Handoff system has been in effect for over a year and has a remarkable success of between 60 and 70% of opiate overdose survivors being admitted for addiction treatment.
Beginning Tuesday, May 16, 2017, the initiative expanded its services and will now be operating 24/7 at the Reading Hospital Emergency Room. The Reading Hospital has the seventh busiest emergency room in the country. This new expansion will provide an RSS around-the-clock offering services not only to those people using opioids but to people with the problematic use of any substance, including alcohol. This will allow the RSS to immediately respond on site to referrals from the emergency room.
This initiative has been made possible through funding from the Council on Chemical Abuse, CCBH and Reading Hospital’s Centers of Excellence.
Are you interested in working as an RSS? Individuals must have 3+ years (if in recovery), be eligible to take CRS classes (if you do not possess CRS credentials) and have no current legal involvement. $20/hour and $30/hour for holidays. Send resumes and cover letters to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other related links:
“Your Bridge to Addiction Resources” – Hear from Mike Reese, a Certified Recovery Specialist, about working as part of the Warm Handoff program.