Quick Response Teams to Fight Opioid Addiction in Akron

Oct 23, 2017

The Akron Quick Response Team (QRT), a collaborative effort between Summit County Public Health (SCPH), Akron Fire Department and Akron Police Department, is an outreach team focused on connecting with individuals who have been struggling with addiction to opiates and have recently overdosed. “The purpose is to help individuals and families know that there is help available as well as help in getting the resources they need to combat an opiate addiction” according to Donna Skoda, SCPH Health Commissioner. The Akron QRT will be adding another layer of support; the team will offer naloxone kits to any person or family member who is visited by the QRT in Akron. Naloxone, brand name Narcan, is a lifesaving medication that has the ability to reverse an overdose that is caused by opiates. It is a proven, effective strategy for preventing overdose deaths in people who are in respiratory failure due to the ingestion of opiates. It works by blocking the effects of the opiates temporarily until emergency services can arrive. While naloxone kits have been available through the Project DAWN program at SCPH, this is the first Quick Response Team to offer it during their outreach efforts. According to District Chief Joseph Natko, Akron Fire Department, “the disbursement of the DAWN kits is being managed by the Akron Quick Response Team during its Thursday deployments. The DAWN kits will only be distributed by the QRT and not carried or distributed by the Akron Fire ambulances. Akron Fire does carry naloxone on our ambulances; this will continue to be used by our paramedics when treating the overdose patient.” Others interested in obtaining a DAWN kit can visit Summit County Public Health on Tuesdays, from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. No appointment is necessary.

For questions about the Quick Response Teams or Project DAWN please call (330) 375-2984 or click here.