Connecting Communities to Substance Use Services: Practical Approaches for First Responders
SAMHSA has issued a new practical guide on Connecting Communities to Substance Use Services: Practical Approaches for First Responders. When first responders (law enforcement, fire, and EMS) encounter people who use drugs (PWUD), they have an opportunity to connect individuals to a variety of different substance use services depending on their needs. This resource document provides practical, evidence-based information for first responder agencies and their partners on implementing programs that can facilitate access to harm reduction, treatment, and ancillary supports and services. It presents relevant strategies and public health approaches, resources and program models, and potential challenges and other important factors to consider when implementing approaches to support PWUD. In addition to first responder agencies and communities, organizations that may benefit from this resource include those seeking to collaborate with first responders, such as substance use treatment providers, local health departments, hospitals, peer and recovery support organizations, harm reduction coalitions, and other community partners.