Pilot program to help overdose victims at RI hospitals

A new pilot program aims to help overdose survivors at hospitals in Rhode Island.

According to the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals, the pilot program will provide hospital emergency rooms with peer recovery coaches to meet with drug overdose survivors.

It will begin on Friday, May 16 at Rhode Island Hospital, Kent Hospital and Memorial Hospital. Organizers say there are plans to expand it to Miriam, Memorial, Roger Williams, St. Joseph's and Butler Hospitals by the end of the month. Recovery coaches at Anchor Recovery Community Centers will be on call from 8:00 p.m. on Fridays through 8:00 a.m. on Mondays.

"We are pleased to make these services available to hospitals and to the individuals who need them", said Craig Stenning, Director of BHDDH. "It is important to let overdose survivors know that recovery is possible, they can lead meaningful and productive lives and there is a recovery community that can guide them as they begin their journey to recovery. We feel that providing a direct link into treatment and recovery will save lives."