Recovery United, Inc. announced the launch of a pilot intervention program at three Boise-area hospitals that will connect patients who have experienced an opioid overdose to certified peer recovery coaches.

The program, which was supported by a $50,000 grant from the AmerisourceBergen Foundation, aims to fill voids in the existing continuum of care by ensuring patients have access to critical recovery resources and support after they leave the emergency room.

As part of the program, recovery coaches will work with identified patients who have been admitted to the hospital through the emergency room and connect them with treatment options, such as medication-assisted treatment, which combines the use of medication with counseling and behavioral therapies.

Recovery coaches will also help direct patients to free peer-based recovery support services, which offer supportive environments that foster patient engagement and empowerment.

Accidental opioid overdoses

Through the program, the nonprofit aims to help reduce accidental opioid overdoses statewide and increase access to high-quality recovery support services.

"Recovery is not meant to be done alone, but rather, it requires a team of people rallying around the individual and their family to inspire a sense of hope that recovery is possible and that they are not alone on their journey," said Monica Forbes.

Pilot program 

"This pilot program will allow us to immediately forge that connection between the individual and their support system that they can then rely on throughout their entire recovery."

Recovery United is launching the program – "Emergency Department Accidental Opiate Overdose Intervention" – in collaboration with the Idaho Association of Recovery Community Centers, which is comprised of Idaho's nine recovery community centers.

The program is a core component of the nonprofit's ongoing efforts to prevent opioid overdoses and reduce stigma through education, advocacy, and free peer-based recovery support services. The stigma around opioid misuse and even medication-assisted treatment can prohibit individuals from seeking the necessary treatment.

"One critical component to addressing the nation's opioid crisis is ensuring that people have access to resources and support throughout the recovery process – especially as they transition out of a hospital," said Gina Clark, president of the AmerisourceBergen Foundation.

"We actively look to support innovative solutions that eliminate barriers to treatment and help reduce the stigma of opioid misuse. This pilot builds a coordinated model that helps connect patients to the high-quality support services they need."

As part of its commitment to combat opioid misuse, the AmerisourceBergen Foundation partners with nonprofits at the local and national level – including stakeholders across the healthcare continuum – to bolster efforts that address the issue through safe disposal, education around prevention and innovative solutions.

The AmerisourceBergen Foundation recently launched an Opioid Resource Grant Program that enables the organization to support and advance ideas from innovative nonprofits, in an effort to redefine best practices in the fight against the opioid epidemic.

AmerisourceBergen's regional Boise associate base is committed to helping the local community and is regularly working to support the accomplishments and reach of the AmerisourceBergen Foundation within Idaho and beyond.