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Plymouth County Outreach
Launched in December 2015, Plymouth County Outreach (PCO) and PCO Hope were developed through a unique partnership of public safety, treatment providers, recovery community and the faith-based leaders in response to the opioid crises that was devastating the young adult community in Plymouth County. Community leaders recognized that the solution required all of us to work together to transform how we think and treat substance use disorders, including redefining our roles in the community as a healthcare provider. In 2018, the partnership realized a 26% decrease in fatal overdose deaths county-wide but much more work needs to continue to address this public health crisis.
Both programs address stigma, offer hope and provide linkage to treatment and recovery through community follow-up visits (PCO) and drop-in centers (PCO Hope):
PCO offers community intervention and linkages to treatment through an innovative law enforcement and civilian collaboration that includes the District Attorney's Office, The Sheriff's Department, all 27 police departments, Bridgewater State University, five major hospitals, recovery coaches, District Court Probation, PAARI, and treatment providers. PCO conducts a community follow-up visits within 24-48 hours after an overdose with a plain clothed officer and recovery coach or clinician. The outreach team provides information, treatment options, and support to both the individual and his/her loved ones. The program expanded in 2018 to include home visits to those who may not have overdosed but are at risk or just looking to access treatment. If you or a loved one is looking to access PCO services, you can do so by calling any of the county Police Departments and asking to speak with a Plymouth County Outreach Officer or contacting PCO through their website or Facebook page: https://plymouthcountyoutreach.org/.
PCO Hope hosts drop-in centers twice a month in Plymouth and East Bridgewater by uniting local faith -based organizations, laws enforcement agencies, health care providers, municipalities, prevention coalitions, treatment centers, businesses, parents, recovery community members, and the community at large. The drop-in centers offer direct access to recovery coaches, family support, Narcan training and kits, linkage to treatment and hope. The drop-in centers have engaged 372 families and provided treatment scholarships to 36 individuals. The beneficiaries of the treatment scholarships had completed detoxification and did not have the financial resources to continue to treatment at sober living programs, which are not covered by insurances. For more information, please visit PCO Hope at https://www.pcohope.org/ or download the PCO Hope app from the app store.
Dr. Alejandro Mendoza, Chief of Psychiatry at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Plymouth (BIDPlymouth), serves as a member of the Advisory Board for PCO and Sarah Cloud, Director of Social Work at BID-Plymouth, is the lead clinician. They work to collaboratively to address the substance use disorder epidemic within Plymouth County. Sarah is also the Vice President of the Board of Directors for PCO HOPE and regularly hosts drop-in centers in the community.