Funds to create more crisis beds at remodeled house for drug addiction services
(Sept. 27, 2019) Immediate treatment for substance abuse in Worcester County will expand with a $532,109 grant from the Opioid Operational Command Center to fund the Crisis Stabilization Project (CSP).
The grant, received by the Worcester County Health Department, is in conjunction with Wicomico and Somerset Counties to provide more crisis beds for the CSP, a new program that will be a part of Hudson Health Services in Salisbury.
Hudson Health Services is a private nonprofit operation dedicated to substance abuse treatment. Hudson Health has walk-ins from 8 to 11 a.m. Monday through Friday for those seeking addiction treatment and receives referrals from all over Maryland, as well as Delaware. It accepts Maryland and Delaware Medicaid.
According to Jennifer LaMade, director of planning quality and core services with the Worcester County Health Department, the CSP will be a remodeled house opened by Hudson Health for those who are seeking first steps to addiction treatment and recovery.
Once in a crisis bed, patients can be referred to an inpatient program that may or may not be Hudson Health. Inpatient beds for the Eastern Shore are scarce, according to LaMade.
“If they need an inpatient service, it is not uncommon that they have to wait —sometimes two weeks,” LaMade said. “The crisis beds are to bridge that gap.”
The purpose of crisis beds is to begin treatment immediately while also waiting for an inpatient spot to open. LaMade believes the importance of crisis beds is because patients don’t have to wait for services, especially since many don’t return if they have to wait.
“They might overdose in that period of time,” LaMade said. “They might die.”
Though the CSP will be located in Salisbury, it will benefit both Worcester and Somerset counties as well because patients can receive referrals from a health department or Safe Station. A Safe Station opened on Sept. 1 at the 15th Street Ocean City Fire Station.
The Safe Station, according to the health department, is available 24/7 for those seeking immediate addiction services. A patient can receive basic medical care at the site until he or she is referred to a treatment program.
“This new project is so important because, since its inception, we’ve had 13 individuals come through the Safe Station,” said Sandy Kerrigan, the community-based services manager for the health department.
The CSP is proposed to have eight beds for all three counties. Those who come through the Safe Station will also receive assistance from a peer support specialist.
“Peer support folks are there to help with transportation and help figure out insurance barriers,” Kerrigan said.
If someone in Worcester is referred to the CSP, a member of the peer support team will drive that person to Salisbury if necessary, she said.
Director of Program Development at Hudson Health Kennedy Hinman is looking forward to closing the gap on immediate access to treatment. According to Hinman, patients at the CSP will receive almost identical services to inpatient care.
“Once they arrive there [CSP], they’re going to receive a medical evaluation and the medications right there in the house,” Hinman said. “We’ll get the doctor orders by phone, they will have an assessment for addiction by an addiction specialist, and then what we plan to do is actually bring them to our campus for treatment and then back to the house every evening. We’re going to integrate them into our existing treatment model.”
She hopes that this immediate treatment access will reduce overdose deaths on the Eastern Shore.
“The most important thing I want people to understand is that recovery is possible,” Hinman said. “We all know and are very aware of the negative consequences of drug use — how it ravages families.”
Hudson Health is now hiring staff for the CSP, which LaMade, Kerrigan and Hinman agreed could be ready by the end of November.