Opioid ‘recovery first aid’ kits unveiled to county officials

By BRETT DAHLBERG  AUG 14, 2018

Local support groups working with people addicted to opioids distributed what they were calling “recovery first aid” kits to government officials Tuesday.

The kits contained contact information for a half-dozen groups that provide services ranging from overdose treatment to grief counseling. David Attridge, executive director of Gates to Recovery, unveiled the kits and presented them to Monroe County legislators at their August meeting.

Information about local addiction-services organizations will be included in "recovery first aid" kits distributed to county officials and public places like churches and emergency rooms.

In an interview with WXXI before the meeting, Gates police Chief James VanBrederode described the harrowing situation that led him and Attridge to compile the kits: a young woman who overdosed twice in one day.

“We had a girl overdose at 10:00 at night,” VanBrederode said. “And in her purse were discharge papers from a local hospital, timestamped at 3:00 p.m. Nowhere in her purse did we find any referral references.”

“There’s so many families out there that aren’t aware of how much help, truly, there is—how many organizations and groups and meetings—pertaining to mental health and substance use disorders,” said Becky Baker, the executive director of S.O.A.R.S., Substance Overdose Awareness Recovery Services.

And Attridge said even government officials are sometimes unaware of the resources available for their constituents who are struggling with addiction. “Monroe County is rich in resources,” Attridge said, “but unless they’ve been through the process, they don’t know what’s out there.”

Baker agreed. “I can help people,” she said. “But they have to know to call me.”

Baker’s contact information and phone numbers for Huther Doyle, the C.O.R.E Center, Trillium Health, ROCovery Fitness, and Gates to Recovery are in the kits, which VanBrederode said will be distributed to emergency rooms, churches, and other public places around the county.