At a press conference this morning, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball announced that the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) has begun transporting stable patients with opioid-related complaints directly to Grassroots as an alternative to conventional hospitals.
“The partnership between HCDFRS and Grassroots means people in need will be able to access immediate care upon arrival at the crisis intervention center, receive treatment for withdrawal there, followed by referral to a recovery program,” Executive Director Dr. Mariana Izraelson said at the press conference. “This timely care has the best chance of success,” she added.
In addition to its substance use programs, County Executive Ball pointed out, Grassroots has multiple resources to help patients, including access to food, clothing, health care, and a safe place to stay.
Last year, another partnership between Grassroots and a county department led to calls being transferred from the Howard County Police Department to Grassroots where mental health counselors provide rapid response, including access to community-based services, such as those addressing substance use disorder.
Grassroots is one of only three programs in the State Opioid Response (SOR) initiative. Its SOR program has a success rate of 75 percent in getting the patients into a treatment facility, most within 24 hours.