As a Center of Excellence, Alliance Medical Services of Pennsylvania was recently awarded $500,000 in state funding from Cambria County. Thanks to this funding, they are poised to treat up to 50 additional patients and participate in the Warm Handoff Program.
Warm Handoff Program Decreasing Overdose
In the fall of 2016, Pennsylvania established the Warm Handoff Program. The aim is to increase interactions between recovery professionals and patients after they have suffered an opiate overdose. Individuals who do not receive follow-up care are more likely to relapse. According to Gary Tennis, Secretary of the Pennsylvania DDAP, “There is a very high risk of a repeat overdose in the period right after a person leaves the emergency room for a drug overdose. Our aim is to avoid that risk by getting the survivor directly to treatment without hitting the street at all.”
The inspiration for the Warm Handoff Program was the life-saving drug Naloxone. After years of seeing lives lost to overdose, police officers were ready for a change. Since Naloxone’s availability in 2014, Pennsylvania police have been able to save 1,600 lives. However, this created another gap in the system of care. Tennis explained that “Many people who would have died are now being saved in the ER, but the protocol there has been to release people once they are stabilized or at most given a card with a referral for treatment.” As the Chairman of the National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws, Tennis and his staff reached out to ER’s to begin development of the new program. From there recovery advocates and professionals like the staff of Alliance Medical Services were able to begin providing more assistance.
About Alliance Medical Services
Alliance Medical Services, a division of Pinnacle Treatment Centers, is an outpatient addiction treatment program located in Johnstown, PA. Their team of trained professionals offers medication assisted treatment with individual and group therapy. Furthermore, they passionately encourage their patient’s development of healthy and stable living to support their journey to recovery.