Working to reduce the risk of opioid overdoses, members of the Sandhills Opioid Response Consortium have developed kits designed to help minimize harm events. The SORC is a group of agencies in Hoke, Lee, Montgomery, Moore and Richmond counties representing health care, law enforcement, behavioral health, public health, county government and other non-profit organizations.
“Our SORC partners worked collaboratively to determine what materials should be included in the harm reduction kits, and they are a key resource in helping us prevent the loss of life,” Roxanne Elliott, M.S., policy director of FirstHealth Community Health Services, said.
The kits include Naloxone nasal spray, which can be used along with emergency medical treatment to reverse life-threatening effects of a known or suspected opioid overdose. They also include information on signs and symptoms of an opioid overdose, how to connect with a certified peer support specialist and other resources available through the Sandhills Opioid Response Consortium.
“These kits are distributed through our partners and peer support specialists. We have also distributed kits to law enforcement partners, EMS partners, treatment recovery centers and other locations,” Elliott said. “We hope that anyone needing a kit will contact a peer support specialist so they can help connect them with relevant resources.”
The SORC peer support specialists are people living in active recovery with substance/opioid use disorder, and they are certified through the North Carolina Certified Peer Support Specialist Program.
Peer support specialists can help people develop a support system, identify goals, create and implement a crisis plan and provide positive feedback to individuals in recovery. They can also guide individuals who decide to use medication-assisted treatment and help connect people to additional resources for support, recovery, treatment and harm reduction.
The specialists serve people in Moore, Richmond, Montgomery, Lee and Hoke counties. Those in Moore and Richmond counties looking for a harm reduction kit should call Stephanie Heck at (910) 722-2265. Those in Lee, Hoke and Montgomery counties should call Stephanie Hoover at (910) 715-1509.
Driven by a shared goal that “all pathways will lead to freedom and survival from opioid addiction and dependence in the Sandhills region,” the Sandhills Opioid Response Consortium is a partnership of more than 25 health and human services organizations in Hoke, Lee, Montgomery, Moore and Richmond counties.
Funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Health Resources & Services Administration, SORC partners work each day to implement activities to address opioid and substance use disorder prevention, treatment and recovery.
Visit FirstHealth.org/recoveryresources for additional information and details on how to help yourself or others.