Implementation of a post-overdose quick response team in the rural Midwest: A team case study

  • Meredith Canada Indiana University School of Social Work, Indianapolis, IN, USA.
  • Scott Formica Social Science Research and Evaluation, Inc., Lincoln, MA, USA.
Keywords: Post-overdose outreach, opioid overdose, overdose prevention, co-response team, law-enforcement led


The opioid-involved overdose crisis in the United States has had devastating effects on communities across the country. Post-overdose outreach teams have emerged as one way to reduce overdose risk for individuals who use drugs. Limited literature exists on how these teams are developed and how they operate. Even less is known about these teams in rural locations. This case study explored one rural team’s implementation, including its strengths and barriers to serving participants. Findings from interviews with program staff indicate the team had a consistent procedure for conducting outreach with overdose survivors and family members, had broad support and buy-in from leadership, and were able to clearly articulate the program’s strengths, challenges, and opportunities for growth—including the need for more formal program evaluation. Factors that facilitated implementation included use of a person-centred and non-coercive approach, establishment of team role boundaries, multi-disciplinary collaboration, empathy, and buy-in across agencies and town leadership. Barriers included stigma among citizens, lack of an evaluation plan, difficulty providing outreach to individuals who have unstable housing, and difficulty following up with service agencies. The findings can benefit other jurisdictions, especially small and rural localities seeking to address the drug crisis more effectively.

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How to Cite
CanadaM., & FormicaS. (2022). Implementation of a post-overdose quick response team in the rural Midwest: A team case study. Journal of Community Safety and Well-Being, 7(2), 59-66.
Original Research