Connecting the DOTS

Beginning in January, members of the Mental and Behavioral Health Workgroup have been partnering with the University of Missouri St. Louis-based Missouri Institute of Mental Health (MIMH) to implement a new project (Drug Overdose Trust and Safety or DOTS) addressing the opioid crisis.

The Jackson County Health Department hosted MIMH and regional stakeholders for the first of three planning sessions to kick-off this year long project. The focus of the planning sessions is to discuss the unique challenges our region faces in responding to the opioid crisis.

Additionally, the discussions taking place are helping to guide and tailor the training curriculum for first responders which will be implemented across Jackson County during the second half of the year. Training efforts will focus on occupational safety for first responders who are responding to an overdose event, as well as help facilitate collaborations between first responders and post-overdose services.

The first planning session allowed for a productive discussion between law enforcement, emergency medical services (EMS), substance use treatment providers, and other public health professionals. Important steps towards collaboration have already taken place as a result of these planning sessions, with EPICC (a statewide peer recovery coach program) inviting two Jackson County EMS agencies to their KC regional meeting. The DOTS project will also work to facilitate leave-behind-naloxone programs with participating EMS agencies.

To learn more about Connecting the DOTS, our partners, and responding to the opioid crisis, check out the project’s website here, and check our blog for updates as this project continues.

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