A Model with Heart
The GCB Clermont Recovery Center’s Quick Response Team (QRT) is a unique model – although there are many existing similar treatment teams in the Tri-State area, theirs is the only approach that utilizes the peer-to-peer concept. Meaning, each of the Clermont County coaches are in recovery themselves.
“We tell them - we have walked this path and know exactly what you’re going through, because we have all literally been there,” says Kristy Mudd, Peer Recovery Coach and QRT Lead. “The awareness - that we’ve walked in their shoes - goes a long way towards establishing an immediate connection and sense of trust.”
In January of 2017, Clermont County initiated a collaborative response to combat the drug addiction crisis that has crippled the region by launching a QRT to connect individuals and their families to treatment and prevent future overdoses.
The area of service has expanded to now include the Clermont County Sheriff’s Department - Milford, Pierce and Miami Townships. GCB team members Kristy Mudd and Bryan Taylor, also a certified recovery coach, partner with law enforcement (including a medic, depending on the area) three days a week to visit the homes of people referred to them, primarily from local hospitals and police.
In October of 2017, the visits expanded to include not only those who recently overdosed, but individuals charged with drug or paraphernalia possession, DUI, domestic violence, or theft. While the individuals who overdosed have consented to a visit, not all the referrals on the list are expecting a police cruiser to pull up in their driveway. Pierce Township visits with the Clermont County Sheriff involve a marked vehicle and a uniformed police officer, who first knocks on the door with the assurance that no one is in trouble - they are only here to offer help.
In Clermont County, many of the law enforcement officials that go on runs are well- known in the community, and already familiar to many of the residents. Kristy herself has spent her entire life in the area and is often recognized during the day. “It’s a different environment here,” she says. “there’s already a rapport.”
On a recent visit to a large, lovely home, the parents warmly welcomed the group at the door and invited them in. They were appreciative of the visit by compassionate strangers, and readily communicated their struggles and fears. Their only child’s current whereabouts were unknown since overdosing and being revived less than two days ago.
“We need advice,” said the Mom, “Her three young children all need support. How do we help her? We don’t know what to do.”
The QRT teams all carry a Narcan Kit for training purposes; today, they provided a demonstration before leaving it with the family. They also shared information regarding support groups, as well as treatment resources. The team called and left several messages for the daughter, in hopes that when she’s ready, she’ll reach out for help.
Back in the car, Bryan shared his observation that the family is just as consumed with the addiction as their daughter, but they’re not taking any drugs. “This sickness seeks to destroy everything and everyone in its path,” he says. He and Kristy still work their own recovery “every day.”
In 2017, 133 individuals in Clermont County were referred to treatment as a result of a QRT interaction. GCB offers additional options for people in recovery, including CASC (Community Alternative Sentencing Center) as well as vocational opportunities and training through its Employment and Recovery Services programs.