Good news on Staten Island: opioid overdoses plummeted for addicts in an experimental and data-driven drug treatment pilot program there.
The Hotspotting the Overdose Epidemic program (also known as The Hotspotting Program) began in March 2022. It only reported two fatalities compared with 11 who did not participate in it, according to a new analysis. Non-fatal overdoses were a whopping 81% lower than for non-participants.
Hospital emergency room visits and in-patient admissions for addicts in the program also declined by 56% and 43% respectively.
Program participants were selected using an analytics tool that Northwell Health’s Staten Island Performing Provider System developed with MIT to identify those with a high risk of an overdose. The 667 addicts who signed up were then assigned to certified peer advocates who were recovering addicts themselves. They also were put in touch with a substance abuse counselor in outpatient clinics, and got started on a medication program to transition them off the drugs.
The $5 billion Hotspotting program is financed by foundation funding, including a $3 million grant from the The Secure Future Project and $1.5 million from Northwell Health.