Low Barrier Post Overdose Initiative

Through initial outreach efforts to learn more about overdose response in Lafayette Parish, the Louisiana Overdose Response Strategy (ORS) Public Health Analyst (PHA) met with the Major of Enforcement at the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office to learn about the number of overdose calls and the number of naloxone doses provided when responding to an overdose call. The two also discussed challenges related to post-overdose response as a follow-up to these overdose calls. The PHA learned that the department will respond to the same residences multiple times due to people experiencing multiple non-fatal overdoses and does not have the capacity to conduct post-overdose outreach due to patient readiness, staff limitations and/or lack of resources when it comes to treating people who use drugs. In the meeting, the PHA and law enforcement personnel determined that a low-barrier, low-resource option would be to leave behind a resource guide for substance use treatment with patients and their loved ones at the scene of an overdose call. The PHA, along with the Harm Reduction Coordinator for the Southwest Louisiana Health Education Center, began compiling resources to develop the guide within Lafayette Parish in the following categories: intensive outpatient programs, residential treatment, medically supported detox, medication-assisted treatment, harm reduction programs, human services district and parish health units. Through feedback and collaboration with personnel throughout Lafayette Parrish, the guide that was originally specific to Lafayette Parish later expanded to become a guide for the entire Louisiana Region 4, which encompasses 7 parishes (Lafayette, Vermilion, Evangeline, St. Landry, St. Martin, Acadia and Iberia). The completed guide was created through collaboration between the PHA and the Southwest Louisiana Health Education Center.  Since rolling out the initial guide for Louisiana Region 4, the PHA has connected with a program coordinator in Lafourche Parish (Louisiana Region 3) and is supporting the development of flyers and brochures for a new post-overdose outreach project in the parish. As the work expands, the PHA may suggest creating a list of treatment centers in Lafourche Parish as part of the informational materials provided during post-overdose outreach.