BCHIP involvement and ongoing support of BCARES serves as a keystone for collaborations among the many partners involved in the program and serves as a model for how our health systems can partner with community behavioral health programs to support better outcomes in Bucks County
Bucks County Connect. Assess. Refer. Engage. Support (BCARES) is a warm handoff collaboration with the six Bucks County hospitals and an assigned Certified Recovery Specialist (CRS) to serve individuals who have survived an opioid overdose. A CRS is a person in long-term recovery who has taken training and passed a certification exam. The CRS will use their lived experience to help other individuals with substance use disorders. Through BCARES, opioid overdose survivors are offered recovery supports, education, resources, and a direct connection from the emergency department to treatment.
BCARES will also serve any individual with any substance use disorder who is being treated in one of the six Bucks County hospitals. The CRS will provide recovery support, education, resources and treatment options. Families and significant others are also provided with support and resources.
BCARES enhancements include BCARES Family Connect and Healthcare Professionals Opposing Stigma.
WHO DOES BCARES SERVE?
- Individuals who have survived an opioid overdose
- Individuals with any substance use disorder who are in a Bucks County hospital
- Families and significant others
- Hospital staff
HOW DOES BCARES WORK?
BCARES is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the six Bucks County hospitals. For an overdose survivor, the hospital emergency department will make a referral directly to the CRS. The CRS will meet face-to-face with the person, and will connect them directly to resources, recovery supports and treatment options. If the person accepts direct treatment from the hospital, the CRS will locate a treatment provider and arrange for transportation. The CRS will continue to follow-up with the person for 30 days following the overdose.
For opioid overdose survivors, BCARES will serve any individual in a Bucks County hospital, regardless of their county of residence or insurance status. The Bucks County Drug & Alcohol Commission, Inc. will fund the first 3 days of treatment for an opioid overdose survivor, regardless of their insurance. Once the individual is in the treatment facility, the facility will explore funding for ongoing treatment.
For individuals who are not overdose survivors, but who do use substances, hospital staff will make a referral to the CRS. The CRS will then meet face-to-face with the person, and will provide recovery support, education, resources and will discuss various treatment options.
BCARES Family Connect is made up of a group of family members who all have a loved one with a substance use disorder. The goal of Family Connect is to support families and loved ones of persons suffering with substance use disorders by sharing their lived experiences and connecting them to resources to help in their journey. Family Connect volunteers are available 24/7, either in the hospital emergency department waiting room (at most hospitals), or by telephone, text, email or in person in the community. CONTACT Family Connect volunteers can be reached via email at BCARESFamilyConnect@gmail.com.