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Bucks County Initiative Saves Lives

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Bucks County-Connect-Assess-Refer-Engage-Support

The BCARES program was developed to offer life-changing options to individuals who survive an opioid overdose. The program does exactly what it was designed to do. They connect individuals directly from one of the six Bucks County emergency departments (ED) to recovery support services and treatment.

How does BCARES work? The hospital makes an overdose survivor referral to a Certified Recovery Specialist (CRS). The CRS will then have a face-to-face meeting with the person who experienced an overdosed and will connect them directly to treatment, resources and recovery support services.

BCARES also assists and supports families and significant others with education and resources. Family Connect is a new enhancement to BCARES. It is made up of a group of family members who have a loved one either actively using or in recovery. They will begin offering 24/7 family support at most hospitals on June 1.

BCARES also provides support, education and treatment options to any individual with a substance use disorder who is on a Bucks County hospital unit.

Bucks County was ranked 24 in all PA Counties for Overdose deaths in 2017 (231).

The following statistics certainly indicate that the program has made and is making an impact.

In 2018-2019 there have been 356 BCARES referrals, 160 of those individuals were placed in treatment, and 84 families were provided with resources in ALL of Bucks County. In the last six months, Gaudenzia’s Lower Bucks Program and Lower Bucks Hospital have had 44 referrals; 12 of those survivors accepted a BCARES referral and went into treatment, 33 Individuals accepted Education, and 7 families were provided education and linked with support services.

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