Providence Swedish helps tackle Snohomish County overdose crisis from emergency departments

Providence Regional Medical Center Everett has implemented solutions to address opioid overdose, including participating in grant programs and research to discover addiction treatments that work.

Opioid overdose mortality nearly doubled in Snohomish County, Wash., over the last few years. Providence Swedish in North Puget Sound has been implementing solutions to this crisis, including participating in grant programs and research to discover addiction treatments that work. 

Providence Regional Medical Center Everett served as a study center for the METH-OD research trial, which tested whether methamphetamine-binding antibodies can reverse the effects of meth intoxication and minimize the “high,” with the ultimate goal of enabling the patient to complete everyday tasks and begin to re-integrate into society. Doctors and research coordinators made sure patients in the study received holistic care.

The team also participated in the NIH-funded Peer Intervention to Link Overdose Survivors to Treatment (PILOT) study, which compared enhanced peer intervention to “treatment as usual” for overdose survivors. Here, a certified peer counselor with lived experience is matched with the patient for motivational interviewing and harm-reduction counseling. 

Farther south in the county, counselors at Swedish Edmonds, in partnership with the Snohomish Health District, administer the Overdose Data to Action (OD2A) program for prevention and tracking. This team also participates in a state-funded program with a goal to provide people with education on and access to suboxone, a medication used to treat opioid-use disorder. 

One OD2A participant later visited Swedish Edmonds to express his gratitude, saying, It’s so nice being back in society and being in a home where I feel like I actually belong. Thank you so much for helping me.” 

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