(News release from the City of Kalamazoo, Jan. 14, 2021)
ISK’s Opioid Overdose Response Program provides emergency mental health services to those struggling with alcohol or drug use
KALAMAZOO, Mich. – The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety (KDPS) today announced its partnership with Integrated Services of Kalamazoo (ISK) to provide more resources to Kalamazoo residents seeking recovery from substance use disorders. Under the new partnership, KDPS will refer people to the Recovery Outreach program made possible through ISK’s Opioid Overdose Response Program (OORP).
“We are excited about this partnership with ISK that will help KDPS connect residents we encounter who are visibly struggling with alcohol or drug use with resources to get the help they need,” said Scott VanderEnde, Executive Lieutenant of Operations (Patrol Division) for KDPS. “The opioid epidemic has hit Kalamazoo especially hard, and in 2020, there was a record number of overdoses. This partnership will streamline the process for getting people to ISK for treatment, which will help reduce the number of overdoses in our community.”
“Any time we can help someone in crisis realize that recovery is possible, it’s a win.”
–Nancy McDonald, program manager of ISK’s Opioid Overdose Recovery Program
Recovery coaches made available through the OORP are trained and certified staff members who are in long-term substance use disorder and/or mental health recovery. Coaches use their own experience and knowledge to provide support and guidance.
“Any time we can help someone in crisis realize that recovery is possible, it’s a win,” said Nancy McDonald, program manager of Integrated Services of Kalamazoo’s Opioid Overdose Recovery Program. “Often, the best person to do this is someone who has lived through this experience. If you are having one of the worst days of your life, I think the person you most want to talk with is probably someone who has had a similar experience to yours. And the sooner we can link that person with a recovery coach, the better.”
Patients can be connected to the program’s patient navigator for assistance with accessing substance use disorder treatment or coordination. These services, and ongoing support, are available free of charge for up to 60 days.
OORP staff can help with peer support and education, linkage to SUD treatment, Narcan training, and resources for family and friends
“There is hope, and recovery is possible,” said Chris Dale, a full-time peer-coach with the Opioid Overdose Recovery Program. “We want to spread the word that this program is available 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week. Our partnership with KDPS will help ensure people in need of our services and resources can access them every day of the year.”