Preliminary results show the Hamilton County Quick Response Teams (QRTs) have tried to reach nearly 800 people with drug addictions since the program started in April 2018.
The QRTs are a joint effort between law enforcement and substance abuse treatment providers. The initial work in the county is being funded through a two-year federal grant.
In 21 months, the teams have tried to reach 795 people, and 212 of those have been connected or referred to treatment.
Sixty-five percent of those referrals are male, and 35% female. Nearly 80% of those referrals are between the ages of 25 and 49.
Sarah Manchak is an associate professor with the University of Cincinnati School of Criminal Justice. She defined the QRT process during a presentation Tuesday to the Hamilton County commissioners.
"They go out and provide assertive outreach to individuals who recently had a non-fatal overdose," Manchak said. "They try to do that within about a week of that non-fatal overdose and get them connected to treatment services. So they are physically going out and knocking on doors of these individuals or their family members and doing everything that they possibly can to try to find them."
Those outreach activities happen two days a week.
Manchak is studying the data for a report that's required for the federal grant. The rather simple questions are, does is work? And if so, how? On what outcomes? And for whom?
There's data being collected plus observations at team meetings of the QRTs and ride-alongs. And Manchak said they're also at work on a client satisfaction survey.
"Just getting some feedback about their experience with the QRT - but more importantly for those who were connected or referred to treatment - try to get inside the black box of what happens after," Manchak said. "So how long they stay in treatment, what kinds of services they got, etc."
More information about the success of the program is expected to be released later this year.