Broome County Sets Up Peer Response Team To Fight Opioid Epidemic

Aug 10, 2017

Credit Gabe Altieri / WSKG

Broome County is launching a program to get treatment for people at risk of an opioid overdose. It’s called the Peer Response Team. It works with law enforcement, hospitals and social services around Broome County. The idea is to better connect people at risk of an overdose to the services they need.

“It is my hope that this initiative will give us the opportunity to be out in the community," said Jill Lloyd, of the Addiction Center of Broome County, "[It can help us] reach out to populations who may not feel comfortable stepping forward and stepping up to treatment services themselves.”

The ACBC will have certified peer advocates meet with the at-risk person, establish contact and conduct wellness checks.

County Executive Jason Garnar said there were 76 overdose deaths in Broome last year.

“That was 76 too many," Garner added. "This is absolutely a public health emergency.”

There’s a worry that not everyone feels comfortable asking for help. They may even fear getting arrested. 

Jeff Wagner investigates heroin deaths for the Broome County District Attorney. He said the county can't arrest its way out of the issue.

“The most important thing is to try to get people clean where ten years down the road, hopefully less, you won’t know any of us because the issue will be gone.” Wagner said.

Once contact is made with people at-risk of an overdose, the Addiction Center of Broome County will attempt to conduct wellness checks and help with transportation, housing and other social services.