OVERDOSE REVERSAL SERVICES
Discreet and confidential, on the spot, supervised injections.
Supervised injections have been implemented throughout Europe, Australia, and Canada.
Overdose reversal kit delivery and training.
Tens-of-thousand overdoses have been reversed with a 99.999% success rate.
For active users of heroin and other opiates.
Services are provided 24/7/365, the same day as requested.
90-minute advanced notice is recommended, to ensure that a volunteer will be present prior to the initial injection.
All volunteers are trained in overdose reversal protocols.
Volunteers will meet you at a predetermined location to prevent a potential fatality.
Location must be provided and specified by the person seeking our services.
If injecting in your vehicle our volunteers will make sure that you get to safety without putting yourself or others at risk by driving under the influence.
WE DO NOT PROVIDE A LOCATION FOR DRUG CONSUMPTION.
If you are using alone:
Our volunteers will stay with you as long as necessary until absolutely sure that the risk of overdose has been eliminated.
If you are not using alone:
Our volunteers will deliver overdose reversal kits, train the group in how to reverse an overdose, and supervise at least the first injection, unless requested not to do so by the group about to use.
To overcome the barriers presented before us to implement the most effective strategy to reduce overdose deaths, A Bridge Back is dedicating resources, free of charge, to help those who are at the highest risk of overdosing. These include people who return to heroin use after treatment, incarceration, community corrections (probation, Parole), or those who have been able to achieve a significant amount of abstinence.
If these individuals decide to use, their risk of overdose is significantly increased because their tolerance to the drug had decreased. When these individuals decide to use heroin again, they usually will not let anyone know. This is due to the shame and guilt involved in using again after being abstinent. They don't want to disappoint their families and friends by telling them that they used. Furthermore, if these individuals drive they may go as far as using then driving home high so as not to appear that they have lapsed in front of their families and friends. This not only puts the individual at risk, but also innocent people who can be impacted by the individual who used. So how can we prevent this from happening?
An anonymous call is made to us by the person who is planning on using after significant time abstinent.
Without judgment, bias, or further discussion we send out two volunteers trained in reversing overdoses to meet with the individual in a safe location to supervise the injection, and intervene if overdose is imminent. Initially, a safe use plan is discussed with the individual prior to injection.
The volunteers stay with the individual until they are safe and with people who care about them. Driving them home if necessary to avoid traffic incidents. During the trip to safety, the using individual is offered the opportunity for our volunteers to speak with their family about options and resources moving forward. Families as well as the individual are trained in overdose reversal and a safe use plan is developed.
Across the United States overdose deaths from opiates, particularly Fentanyl laced heroin, have been on an upward trajectory since the crisis began (see CDC chart). Organizations have been created to work with local police departments, treatment providers, and state and federal governments to create strategies to reduce the epidemic. However, it has been a struggle to significantly curb overdose deaths in the united states. Illinois has one of the highest rates of Fentanyl laced heroin overdose fatalities, particularly the greater Chicago area and surrounding counties according to coroners. The people who created these organizations are those who have been personally affected by the crisis. So what is lacking in these efforts?
The most effective strategy in reducing overdose deaths are called supervised injection sites. These have been springing up around the world, including in Canada, and they have been extremely successful in reducing overdose death and the spread of blood borne diseases. One site in Canada claims to have experienced 336 overdoses onsite, of which none have ended in fatality. But these sites are still illegal in the United States, particularly due to politics and resistance from local neighborhoods to allow such sites in their vicinity. Unfortunately, this is because of a phenomenon know as "fundemental attribution errors." This means that people are labeled as "addicts, junkies, low-lifes, and so on." However, ask anyone who has lost a loved one to overdose will tell you otherwise. Their loved ones were so much more as people than simply addicts or junkies. They had interests, hobbies, skills, goals, aspirations, and families. All of these things had ceased to exist and manifest because the person is dead. If someone unnecessarily dies from a heroin overdose, all these things die with them, and potential to achieve success in life and recovery have been lost. If someone is dead, they no longer have the chance to recover.
WHAT TO DO IF ADDICTION IS AFFECTING YOUR FAMILY OR HOUSEHOLD...
Having someone you care about stuck in the vicious cycle of addiction can be very difficult. Feelings of helplessness could arise, and the stress of witnessing your loved one destroying their life and you not being able to just make them stop will certainly effect your quality-of-life. The good news is that you have options about what to do to help yourself and the addicted person in your life. Our free family training program will educate you about tools that you can apply to get help for your loved one while taking care of yourself. Self care is crucial when you have to deal with someone who is addicted. You cannot help them if you are suffering yourself because of their actions. The burden is put on you to maintain and take care of personal and family responsibilities on your own. Anger and resentment towards the person who is causing all this suffering begins to build, then reluctantly you give up on them and feel like you have no choice but to remove the person causing you pain, or remove yourself from the situation. Even though this may help, but if someone close to you continues to suffer and you have no idea what is going on with them after they are removed from your life, the worrying may set in, and this too can take away from your daily functioning.
Addiction treatment and recovery support programs are vast and profitable. The first thing someone does is go online and search for treatment programs without knowing who is legit and who is in it to turn a quick profit. Programs are opening and shutting down all the time. During our family training sessions, you will be educated on how to intervene and who can help. Learn about resources that are available to your family. Learn about what to look for in addiction treatment programs and what questions to ask. If the situation arises that the addicted member refuses to get help, or is in denial about the severity of their substance use disorder you will need the help of a professional who is skilled at intervening with the addicted and their family. However, hiring an interventionist is very costly and may or may not work. So, if finances are scarce we will educate you about what methods you can use to achieve your goal. If you hit a dead end while trying, the only thing you can do in the moment is take care of yourself, whether or not the addicted individual is still living with you.
Please contact us to schedule a free informational session about learning how to cope and intervene when someone who is close to you is struggling.
HOW POST-PARALLEL INTERVENTIONS WORK
We understand that it is not always a person's lack of desire to get better. In every human life there are areas that cause dissatisfaction, and the need for change. Our interventions pinpoint the area requiring change and use that as a starting point for our treatment, we work with the addicted individual to improve or resolve immediate problems or barriers through our case management services. There is not a one-size-fits-all method that works to help everyone. Even though there are many similarities and options that have seen positive results, the patients coming in for treatment bring with them their unique problems. Most of the time if someone is dependent on drugs and alcohol, they are self-medicating to cope with unresolved psychological and emotional issues that have not been addressed, and may surface subconsciously triggering a relapse. The brain stores and uses what is ingrained in memory for dealing with emotional pain. Therefore, it is our job to find and rewire the brain to cope in a healthy way with the emotional pain that arises and results in maladaptive behaviors that help ease the pain temporarily, but destroy everything meaningful in the long-term due to continued use.
Let's say a person who is engaged in treatment is having a difficult time and may be lapsing while attending outpatient. They discuss their life problems and see their situation as hopeless. They return to their drug or alcohol use to escape their reality. Treatment professionals are usually swamped with a huge case load, and they are unable to provide the individualized intervention or case management services to each person who has life problems outside of the treatment setting. You can remove a person from their environment and fill up their schedule with treatment, treatment, treatment. But at the end of the day they are returning to their lives and the stressors that remain when they went into treatment. These stressors, unless they are addressed immediately, will trigger a relapse.
This is where we come in and either create or follow the recommended case management plan to help the suffering person take action outside of the treatment setting. A perfect example is to demonstrate how sober living homes work. They are designed to provide the addicted person with a structured environment that is supportive and holds the resident accountable to take action to resolve their problems. However, the majority of people coming out of treatment do not find these services helpful, their responsibilities, beliefs, and values do not align with what is expected of them in the sober living home. This is where we can intervene with a more hands-on approach while the addicted person is living at home. We will provide them with a professional case-management specialist to accompany them during high-risk situations while helping them work towards rewiring their brain to cope in a healthy way through behavior modification with ongoing clinical assessment for underlying problems. Furthermore, the individual may be living against their values. Our interventionists will assist the individual in defining their values and setting attainable goals to make their lives align with what they value. This will increase the pleasure they will get from living, thus outweighing the pleasure then pain caused by returning to active use.
Here's a curve ball that people don't think about often. Your brain is an organ, just like your heart, your liver, you name it. If you notice that there is something off with any other part of your body what do you do? What would you tell a friend or family member to do? Probably go see a doctor and comply with whatever treatment recommendation is made. If it doesn't seem to be working, you communicate that to the professional who is helping you. Why do people see their brains differently? The fact is that the brain plays a significant role in all the functioning of all parts of your body. Yet, society has been convinced that you have to be "crazy" to get help for your brain. This is not true. In fact, your brain is the most complicated organ in the body and has the most cells that are constantly changing, rewiring, and evolving based on biological, social, and developmental influences.
RECIDIVISM PREVENTION for PRE-TRIAL, PAROLEES & PROBATIONERS
If a probationer is having difficulties in mental health, substance abuse treatment, or community service as mandated by the courts, we will work with the client to meet these requirements before severe consequences are imposed. People whose substance use disorder had become severely out of control display sociopathic symptoms to feed their addictions. However, if these people are incarcerated they usually do not have access to their drugs of choice, and return to being themselves, and most are not sociopaths once the drugs are removed and the addiction is curbed. However, they are now locked up with real sociopaths and narcissists who will victimize the recovering person. Those with addictive disorders are usually good people who are struggling to cope with life through self-medication, as this is the only way they have learned to cope over the years.
If a client is struggling financially, has family problems, relationship problems, housing problems, inability to abstain from substances, etc. We begin our intervention by meeting the client where they are to help them find resolve, whether social or psychological, then progress from there. We assess any present day barriers through various levels of hands-on case management services to prepare them for a successful return to treatment and completion of legal mandates. History has shown us that punishing someone with a substance use disorder does not address the underlying causes or social problems. Perhaps a client will abstain after being re-incarcerated, and will complete their mandates. But the relapse rates for these clients after their legal problems have dissipated are enormous. We strive to reduce relapse rates post community corrections, thus, reducing recidivism.
Besides being the population who are at increased risk of overdose, those who are not addicted to heroin or other forms of opiates but are having difficulty remaining compliant with legal mandates can re-offend, vanish from treatment, or have other reasons that are creating barriers to complete the required mandates. Some are mandated to substance abuse treatment but may be in denial about mental health and substance use disorders. Our interventions consist of a "no-wrong-door" approach to get to the root cause of any problems causing them difficulties complying with legal mandates. This is the next level of recidivism prevention through aligning our interventions to the immediate needs of the client to free up their concerns enabling them to be more focus on completion of legal mandates.