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Quick Response Team can be 'the starting point of recovery'

By Norwalk Reflector Staff • Updated Dec 10, 2017 at 11:15 PM

A collaboration between the Huron County Sheriff’s Office, Norwalk Police Department, Firelands Counseling and Recovery Services, Family Life Counseling, certified peer support persons and the Huron County Board of Mental Health and Addiction Services has started knocking on doors all over Huron County.

They are seeing people, not in an emergency situation during an overdose, but seeing them when they can talk more about what treatments are available.

“I, personally, am a member of this team and I can honestly say we are encouraged about possibly affecting change in our county,” said Drew Riley, a Norwalk resident who is a certified peer supporter. 

“Our goal is to be at the doorstep of overdose victims within five to seven days of their overdose with one of us, a police officer, and a counselor from a local treatment agency and we will get the individual to treatment or support services as long as they’re ready. If they don’t answer the door or they’re not ready, we leave a package with information on where to get help.”

Not only are people seeing that there is hope in recovering from addiction, first responders are also seeing a positive impact of being able to help people get into treatment. 

“The Quick Response Team gives us an opportunity to be the starting point of recovery as we continue to focus on enforcement, education, prevention and treatment to potentially reduce the instances of overdoses in our county,” Norwalk Police Chief Dave Light said.

Since beginning of the Quick Response Team initiative in Huron County at the end of October, the team has gone out four times and spoken to three out of 11 identified individuals.

“The progress seems slow, but change oftentimes is hard to identify early on. There is no one fix for this epidemic. We have to work together to effect change and to better our community — one person and one visit at a time,” Riley said.

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