Westbrook Health Services Inc. receives $250K grant for drug response

Team would reach out following overdoses

PARKERSBURG — Westbrook Health Services Inc. has received a grant to establish a Quick Response Team to engage people within 72 hours after they overdose.

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources announced Wednesday it was awarding $500,000 to expand the statewide capacity of QRTs, which consist of emergency response personnel, law enforcement officers and a substance use treatment or recovery provider. The goal is to contact individuals within 24 to 72 hours of an overdose and assist them with support like referrals and treatment options.

Westbrook will receive $250,000 to serve Wood County, while Seneca Health Services Inc. is getting $249,901.

According to information provided by Westbrook, people who suffer fatal overdoses have often overdosed in the past, so getting them into treatment would decrease the likelihood of subsequent and potentially fatal events.

“Westbrook looks forward to working with local law enforcement in collaboration with emergency responders and the Behavioral Health Unit at Camden Clark Medical Center to reduce the number of opiate-related deaths in our area and engage people in treatment,” Westbrook President and CEO Kevin Trippett said in a statement. “It is our goal to get people the help, resources and support they need to live healthier, happier, drug-free lives.

“We are fortunate to live in a community where law enforcement, behavioral health and emergency responders are able to work together to effect positive change,” he said. “This grant will go a long way to helping us achieve our goal.”

In addition to directly assisting people who have experienced overdoses, the project could help establish a better system for tracking information about overdoses in the region and how quickly people can access recovery and treatment services.

“DHHR is pleased to provide this funding as part of DHHR’s Office of Drug Control Policy and the Governor’s State Opioid Response Plan to help give individuals an opportunity to receive recovery support and proactively offer treatment to survivors and their families,” said Susie Mullens, interim director of DHHR’s Office of Drug Control Policy. “Helping communities build QRTs will not only save lives but will reduce stigma surrounding substance use disorders and encourage hope that recovery is possible.”