The widespread opioid crisis in our country is undoubtedly a growing concern for physicians and public health officials alike.
The outlook for our community is no different—there are an estimated 40,000 people in Greenville County alone who are currently suffering with a substance use disorder. An additional 200,000 people in Greenville County are directly affected by a loved one’s addiction.
Studies have shown that lower-income individuals, including those on Medicaid and the uninsured, are more likely to misuse opioids and have opioid use disorder than the general U.S. population. When you consider facts like these, it’s clear that the opioid epidemic isn’t just a public health crisis—it’s very much a socioeconomic one.
The Way Forward
In January of 2018 FAVOR Greenville launched the FORCE program (FAVOR Opioid Recovery Coaching Evaluation) in partnership with Prisma Health (formerly Greenville Health System).
FORCE focuses on confronting the opioid epidemic in the Upstate by providing 24-hour on call support for people who show up at Greenville Memorial Emergency Department following an accidental opioid overdose.
Ultimately, we hope to see the program spread to emergency rooms across the Upstate and the entire region.
The FORCE program uses a long-term coaching approach through an assertive engagement process and the evaluation covers a 12-month period. The goal of this model is to keep the person engaged in recovery over the long haul as we know the journey is full of ups and downs.
This program has proven to be truly transformational. A brief overview of the results to this point are:
- Total calls: 191
- Enrollment (patients that agreed to FORCE Recovery Support): 187; 98%
- Retention (Of the total enrolled; patients who remain active and engaged with FORCE Recovery Supports): 112; 60%
- “Recidivism” (Of the total enrolled; patients who returned to ANY HOSPITAL for ANY REASON-attempting to measure impact on healthcare costs): 11; 5.8%