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24/7Addiction Help

502.583.3951

24/7 Adult Crisis Line

502.589.4313

24/7 Child Crisis Line

502.589.8070

First Appointment

502.589.1100

Seven Counties Services Blog

New Partnership Places Peer Support Specialists at Syringe Exchange Sites

Mar 11, 2021 9:00:00 AM

The Addiction Recovery Center (ARC) of Seven Counties Services, located at 600 S. Preston Street in downtown Louisville, has been working toward key partnerships in the community that help rapidly link individuals to treatment for addictions. ARC is an 80-bed inpatient and outpatient facility for adults that specializes in the effective treatment of substance use disorders.

ARC and Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness (LMDPHW) recently entered into a partnership to provide rapid access to addiction treatment at syringe exchange sites. LMDPHW meets a critical need in the community by offering six locations in Louisville where people who use drugs by injection can anonymously walk-in and receive new, sterile syringes and clean injection equipment, while safely disposing of their used syringes and needles. Syringe exchange programs such as this have worked to reduce the spread of HIV, Hepatitis C, and other blood-borne infections.

The partnership, which began in early February, was created through the Kentucky Opioid Response Effort (KORE) initiative and is funded through the state of Kentucky. KORE, through Seven Counties Services, employs Peer Support Specialists to rapidly engage individuals into discussions about addiction treatment. Peer Support Specialists are individuals with lived experience of a substance use disorder with sustained sobriety who have also completed a special training program to obtain certification.

At any time, day or night, employees at the syringe exchange sites can call ARC and ask for a Peer Support Specialist to be dispatched to the site to talk with an individual about treatment options. There is no expectation that the individual is ready for treatment or wanting treatment at that time, but the Peer Support Specialist can come to discuss what treatment could look like and options that are available. Peer Support Specialists are uniquely qualified to talk with an individual that is in active substance use by sharing their experience and starting a conversation about treatment.

The agreement between ARC and LMDPHW lasts through Dec. 2022.

“Our hope through this partnership is to work from a harm reduction model to be rapidly available for any individual that wants to start a conversation about seeking treatment for substance use,” said Marty Purdy, Interim VP, Addiction Services. “When someone asks for help or even thinks today might be the day they are ready to discuss drug treatment, the window of opportunity is small to assertively link them to care. The Peer Support Specialist responds and begins that conversation at the syringe exchange site within 30 minutes to plant a seed of recovery or transport that individual to treatment in the community that very day.”

ARC has treatment available for inpatient services for both detox and residential. We also offer transitional housing coupled with our Intensive Outpatient Programming (IOP). We provide rapid access to medication to assist a person’s addiction recovery with Suboxone or Vivitrol. Individual and group therapy is offered along with Supported Housing to house individuals in recovery for up to a year. We can house and treat an individual from day one of detox to 18 months of sobriety. Coupled with all outpatient services, we provide Targeted Case Management, Supported Employment services, and Peer Support engagement.

For more information about ARC, visit https://sevencounties.org/arc/.

Tags: Addiction Recovery

Written by Adelaide Luckett, Unit Manager at Addiction Recovery Center, Seven Counties Services