Plymouth County Outreach
Another major area of focus for the Scituate Police Department was attempting to help those suffering from Substance Abuse Disorder. As Opioid addiction gained national attention throughout 2017, and overdose rates around the country continued to climb we at SPD continued to adapt and create new techniques in an attempt to assist those suffering and combat the epidemic. Since 2015 the Scituate Police Department has teamed up with South Shore Peer Recovery and Scituate FACTS in an innovative program to assist individuals suffering from substance related emergencies. Scituate Police officers have worked with victims of opiate overdoses and their families in connecting them with a Recovery Coach in an attempt to get the individual into the best treatment program possible. Over the years many other towns adopted similar programs to Scituate’s, and in 2017 all 27 Police Departments within Plymouth County signed a Memorandum of Understanding to join forces in an effort to provide help across jurisdictional boundaries. This first of its kind collaboration took form in early 2017 and was named Plymouth County Outreach.
Plymouth County Outreach brought together a multi-jurisdictional team including, the recovery community, the healthcare community, the faith community as well as probation and other judicial officials in one common goal, to save lives. The collaboration sponsors weekly drop in centers, where people with substance use disorder can come for information and get help getting into treatment. Additionally the network works with health officials and recovery coaches to offer immediate treatment to anyone who suffers from a non-fatal overdose. Prior to this model in many cases individual towns were following up with residents whom had overdosed within their community, but preliminary data shows that close to 45 percent of the overdoses within Plymouth County are cases where the victim did not overdose in the town where they live.
Since its formation Plymouth County Outreach has developed a monitoring system that allows officers to exchange real time data and arrange to follow up with an individual surviving an overdose within 24-48 hour window. With the help of a recovery coach plain clothes officers make home visits and attempt to speak with the individual or their families and discuss treatment options. The exchange of information is limited to only one or two officers within the department, making sure to protect the individual’s confidentiality. The network of officers connect with a recovery coach and attempt to make contact with the individual as fast as possible. Officers are available 24-7 at SPD to offer assistance to, additionally Lieutenant Detective Paul Norton and Officer Michael Prouty are both liaisons with the Plymouth County Outreach network and can be contacted to help connect any at risk-individual with resources. Furthermore South Shore Peer Recovery offers drop in hours every Saturday from 9am-12PM at 50 Cole Parkway (2nd floor) with recovery coaches standing by to help place individuals and offering free Narcan training the first Saturday of each month. Remember there is no need to wait for medical or police emergency help is available 24-7 to access treatment.