On December 14, 2017, Dennis DiCintio and David Shipley presented at the Maryland Opioid Operational Command Center Opioid Intervention Teams (OIT) “Swap & Share”. At this event, local partners shared promising practices in the fight against the heroin and opioid epidemic with OIT leads from Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions. Mr. DiCintio and Mr. Shipley presented on the collaborative effort Community Outreach Addictions Team (COAT).

COAT provides a link to treatment for those suffering from a substance use disorder in Wicomico County. The team is comprised of peer support specialists who are able to respond 24/7 to overdose calls. Since its inception in June of 2016, the Team has been in contact with 301 addicted county residents, assisting 169 (56%) into treatment.

A formal evaluation of the Community Outreach Addictions Team program was conducted by the Business Economic and Community Outreach Network (BEACON) at Salisbury University. The Health Department contracted with BEACON to determine the effectiveness of the program. In their final report, BEACON stated that “COAT is performing at a 62.68% higher rate than the nation in assisting drug users into rehabilitation at specialty facilities.” In addition, the return on investment was calculated at nearly 7:1. Meaning, for every $1 spent on COAT, a savings of almost $7 can be seen in the community.

In the first half of 2017, Wicomico saw a 42% decrease in total drug and alcohol-related deaths. The State observed a 20% increase.  During that same time, Wicomico also had a 50% decrease in total fentanyl-related deaths, while the rest of the State averaged a 70% increase.

The number heroin overdoses observed in PRMC’s Emergency Department has decreased 34% from FY16 to FY17.

Photo from left to right: Birch Barron, Russell Strickland, Clay Stamp, Dennis Dicintio, David Shipley, Dennis Schrader