Paramedics in Philadelphia are pairing up with the city’s social service workers to better respond to reported opioid overdoses, according to NBC Philadelphia. The paramedic-caseworker duos will arrive to advise those who survive overdoses but refuse transport to the hospital, in hopes to get them into opioid addiction treatment. Working out of Kensington, the opioid-prone area of the city, the new program is called AR-2 and has interacted with 25 people in the last six weeks. It can lead its patients to treatment, dispense literature about opioid treatment clinics, and give out free naloxone (an antidote to opioid overdoses). Philadelphia’s Fire Dept., Dept. of Public Health, and Dept. of Behavioral Health designed the initiative together in an attempt to better serve the overdose victims which first responders frequently encountered. The city will evaluate the program next month and decide how to expand it from its initial $2 million of funding.
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