Newport adds ‘Safe Stations’, provides 24/7 support to those struggling with addiction (Updated)

Newport Safe Stations is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at all 3 Newport fire stations

Photo Credit: Kenneth C. Zirkel |This work is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

This story was originally published at 7:19 am on June 19th.

In an effort to combat the opioid epidemic, the City of Newport officially announced today that it will soon be launching a Safe Stations program. 

Beginning later this month, anyone battling addiction will be able to visit any of Newport’s three fire stations to access treatment and recovery services from trusted community partners with no fear of prosecution.

In rolling out the program, Fire Chief Brian Dugan notes that each Newport Fire Station will be designated as a safe environment for those seeking assistance to start their path to recovery.

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“Any time, day or night, when someone struggling with substance abuse or misuse determines that they need help, they’ll be welcome here to speak to a firefighter on duty and begin their path to recovery,” said Dugan. “Our stations will truly be a safe space” 

The program, due to launch on June 28th, follows a nearly year-long planning and training process that engaged a number of community partners, including the twenty members of the Newport Prevention Coalition’s CODE Subcommittee, the Hope Recovery Center, Providence Safe Stations, the RI Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities, and Hospitals and the RI Department of Health.

“We couldn’t be more pleased to be partnering with the City of Newport to confront the opioid crisis head on,” said James Day, Newport Prevention Coalition Coordinator, which last year received a grant from the Governor’s Overdose Task Force to develop a plan aimed at preventing opioid overdose deaths in Newport.. “This has been a truly collaborative effort and one which I hope will provide our neighbors experiencing addiction an accessible path to treatment and long-term recovery.”

Under the program, anyone suffering from addiction who visits a Safe Station will be assessed medically by firefighters, who will check basic vital signs, dispose of any illegal drugs and paraphernalia and call a team of Certified Peer Recovery Specialists from the Hope Recovery Center to identify appropriate next steps. 

“Hope Recovery Center is excited to work with the Newport Fire Dept. on this innovative project,” said Lori Kosicki, Certified Peer Recovery Specialist Supervisor for the Hope Recovery Center. “As we come together to assist members of our community, our hope is to provide 24/7 access to treatment for substance misuse and to support ongoing recovery efforts. The Hope Recovery Center Certified Peer Recovery Specialists are committed to following up, supporting and engaging  with them  throughout their journey.”

According to the Rhode Island Department of Health, drug overdoses in Rhode Island have been rising in recent years, driven in large part by the rise in potency of illegal opioids.

The Safe Stations Program is designed to provide immediate help when someone is ready to take that step, “Where Are Ready When You Are Ready. 

First developed in Nashua and Manchester, N.H. where the opioid crisis was taking a particularly devastating toll, Safe Stations programs have been adopted in communities across the country. In January of last year, Providence became the first community in Rhode Island to implement the program. Newport will be the second. 

A formal press conference and ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the launch of the program is scheduled for Friday, June 28, 2019 at Fire Department headquarters, located at 21 Marlborough St. at 4 p.m.

The launch will also coincide with the Newport County Prevention Coalition’s Prevention Night at the Newport Gulls game scheduled for that evening at 6:30 p.m.

Additional information about the Newport’s Safe Station program can be found by visiting the City’s website at www.CityofNewport.com/SafeStation.

Original Story

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza joined members of the Providence City Council, Healthy Communities Director Ellen Cynar, elected, public health and safety officials from across New England, program participants, as well as community partners at Messer Street Fire Station on Monday to announce Providence Safe Stations’ 100th visit and award Providence State Opioid Response funds to address opioid overdoses in Providence.

Marking the milestone, public officials including representatives from the Rhode Island cities and towns were provided technical assistance and guidance on best practices and strategies to implement similar service programs. Cross collaboration to expand access to recovery services through similar initiatives would provide Rhode Islanders a much broader net of support with the goal of reducing opioid dependence and overdoses state-wide.

The City of Newport is in the final stages of the launch process for Newport Safe Stations, according to a press release from the City of Providence. The City of Newport already provides the following information about Newport Safe Stations on their website and confirms Newport Safe Stations is now available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at all 3 Newport fire stations


Are you or someone you know struggling with addiction? If so, then Newport Safe Stations is your connection to recovery.

Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, anyone stuggling with addiction can now visit any of Newport’s 3 fire stations, speak with the trained staff on duty, and immediately get connected to treatment support and services. Newport Safe Stations is free and provides a welcoming environment for when you’re ready for recovery.

Newport Safe Stations is a partnership between the City of Newport and Newport County Prevention Coalition and the Hope Recovery Center of Newport”. 

Find a Station

Station 1 
21 Marlborough St.
Newport, R.I. 02840
    Station 2
100 Old Fort Road
Newport, R.I. 02840
    Station 5
Touro Street
Newport, R.I. 02840
   
   

Providence Safe Stations has garnered praise for providing those struggling with substance use disorders the ability to connect with treatment and recovery services by visiting any of the 12 Providence fire stations 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Providence Safe Stations launched in January 2018 as a partnership with The Providence Center, the State’s Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals (BHDDH) and was based on successful program models from Manchester and Nashua, NH. Since its inception, the program has seen over 100 visits with 92% of individuals requesting to enroll in on-going peer recovery support.

For more information about overdose prevention, data, resources, and Rhode Island’s Overdose Prevention Action Plan, please visit: http://preventoverdoseri.org/.


Full Press Release – Providence Safe Stations Provides Path to Recovery for 100th Visit in RI’s Capital

Regional leaders look to City of Providence for innovative opioid crisis response initiative that connects participants to recovery services 24/7 at all 12 Providence fire stations

Mayor Jorge O. Elorza today joined members of the Providence City Council, Healthy Communities Director Ellen Cynar, elected, public health and safety officials from across New England, program participants, as well as community partners at Messer Street Fire Station to announce Providence Safe Stations’ 100th visit and award Providence State Opioid Response funds to address opioid overdoses in Providence. Providence Safe Stations has garnered praise for providing those struggling with substance use disorders the ability to connect with treatment and recovery services by visiting any of the 12 Providence fire stations 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

“Providence Safe Stations has been the first step to recovery for many struggling with addiction in the capital city,” said Mayor Jorge Elorza. “We’re excited to reach this milestone with those participants and encouraged by the broad interest in launching similar efforts so that all Rhode Islanders know that they are not alone on their journey to sobriety. If you or a loved one needs support, please know that when you are ready, help is here at any time, at any Providence fire station.”

The opioid epidemic is regarded as a public health crisis that has swept across the nation. According to Prevent Overdose RI, approximately one in four of Rhode Island’s overdose deaths occur in Providence. Providence Safe Stations is a city-wide response that connects those struggling with addiction and substance use disorders to peer recovery services and access to certified treatment options for long-term recovery. Services are facilitated by The Providence Center, the state’s leading mental health and addiction treatment provider, through its Anchor Recovery program.

“Safe Stations provides a place that is safe, and where the staff has the means and know-how to help those in crisis immediately,” stated City Council President Sabina Matos. “Drug addiction is a disease that does not single out any one community or any one socio-economic background. It is pervasive, and this initiative saves lives. And celebrating over 100 individual lives saved is a celebration worth having.”

Providence Safe Stations launched in January 2018 as a partnership with The Providence Center, the State’s Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals (BHDDH) and was based on successful program models from Manchester and Nashua, NH. Since its inception, the program has seen over 100 visits with 92% of individuals requesting to enroll in on-going peer recovery support.

“The Providence Center and Anchor Recovery believe that there are many different paths to recovery – we want to encourage yours,” said Jonathan Goyer, Manager of Anchor MORE (Mobile Outreach Recovery Efforts). “If you are struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, we welcome you to begin your recovery journey today. We look forward to connecting you to people who have first-hand experience in addiction and recovery so that you don’t have to travel the path alone.”

Marking the milestone, public officials including representatives from the Rhode Island cities and towns were provided technical assistance and guidance on best practices and strategies to implement similar service programs. Cross collaboration to expand access to recovery services through similar initiatives would provide Rhode Islanders a much broader net of support with the goal of reducing opioid dependence and overdoses state-wide. The City of Newport is in the final stages of the launch process for Newport Safe Stations.

Additionally, City of Providence announced that through a competitive application process, the Providence Healthy Communities Office has awarded nearly $375,000 in RI Department of BHDDH State Opioid Response (SOR) funds to five agencies working to reduce and respond to overdoses in the capital city. The awarded agencies and programs are:

  • Building Futures RI to integrate the “Opioids & Construction: Why it Matters and What We Can Do” curriculum into its pre-apprenticeship building trades program.
  • Refugee Dream Center to educate recently settled refugees about proper use, management, and risks of opioid medications, through its “Journey to Health” program.
  • Project Weber/RENEW to train and distribute naloxone and fentanyl test strips to individuals at risk of overdose, and conduct outreach to engage community members in peer-led recovery support groups.
  • Rhode Island Hospital to connect discharged patients with substance use disorders to appropriate care, including primary care and nursing home settings with medication-assisted treatment, and needed social supports.
  • The Miriam Hospital to support the social, emotional, and physical health needs of individuals who have been impacted by overdose, by screening Recovery Clinic patients for health-related social needs, helping them develop action plans and navigate support, and connecting patients to affordable legal representation.

Further, City of Providence SOR funds will be used to provide Providence Fire/EMS with naloxone and overdose prevention information to distribute to individuals who have been involved in rescue calls for overdoses or other substance use disorder issues.

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