Opioid Overdose Survivor Services Initiative



In 2017, BCHIP was a major part of a countywide partnership that launched an initiative to address the opioid crisis in Bucks County. Under this initiative, called “Bucks County Connect Assess Refer Engage Supports’ (BCARES), BCHIP supports the partnership between the Bucks County Drug and Alcohol Commission Inc., three provider agencies (The Council of Southeast PA, Gaudenzia Lower Bucks, and Penn Foundation), and all of the hospitals in Bucks County.

The BCARES program focuses on a “warm handoff” protocol that comes into practice when people who are suffering from the disease of addiction are taken to the Emergency Room after an overdose. In the past, these survivors were typically stabilized and then released, and many overdosed again, often with fatal consequences. Through this program, Certified Recovery Specialists {CRS), are mobilized by ER staff and reach out to the survivor of overdose while they are still in the hospital. The CRS staff provide Information, understanding, and assistance in getting the person with a substance use disorder into a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program. CRS staff are able provide empathy and support to the person and their family at a time when they are most vulnerable and, more importantly, provide a lifeline to get them on a track to recovery.

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.

For more information on recovery services, please call:

Bucks County Drug & Alcohol Commission 215-773-9643