NASEMSO Partners with ASTHO on EMS Innovative Practices in Responding to Opioid Crisis

August 10, 2021

The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and NASEMSO engaged in a consensus-building process to identify innovative strategies by EMS providers in response to the opioid crisis. Following a 2-day meeting in March of 2020 of public health officials and EMS representatives, a nationwide survey was developed and distributed by state EMS officials to EMS providers in their respective states and territories. 1140 responses were received from 48 states and territories in the fall of 2020. The results were analyzed and compiled into the July 2021 ASTHO report, Innovations in Overdose Response: Strategies Implemented by Emergency Medical Services ProvidersThe report states, “EMS agencies are uniquely positioned to link patients with treatment and recovery services if desired.” ASTHO found that the most frequent strategies in which EMS providers link patients to care include using a system of care approach; transporting patients to places other than the ED when appropriate (such as treatment centers); administering buprenorphine in the field to the opioid dependent patient; use of quick response teams for post-overdose response; use of safe stations (fire stations where people who use drugs can access care 24/7 without fear of arrest); and mobile integrated healthcare. The report is available at State Public Health | ASTHO.