South Carolina EMS featured in COSSAP Newsletter for Innovation in Responding to Opioid Epidemic

November 15, 2022

The South Carolina Bureau of EMS and Trauma was one of the early pioneers among state offices of EMS in developing innovative programs to address the opioid crisis. The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Program (COSSAP) recently featured a story recognizing the state’s early and sustained efforts. Following earlier naloxone-related initiatives such as their Law Enforcement Officer Narcan (LEON) and the Reducing Opioid Loss of Life (ROLL) program for firefighters, the EMS Bureau developed the Community Outreach Paramedic Education (COPE) program in 2019. COPE Teams are made up of a specially trained paramedic, a peer support specialist or professional addiction counselor and if available a law enforcement officer from the LEON program. Their goal is to visit an overdose survivor during the critical window for intervention following an overdose event (typically within 72 hours) to provide educational materials and a “warm handoff” to drug treatment and peer support.  For more information about South Carolina’s overdose initiatives, contact Arnold Alier, EdD, NRP at Read more in More Than Naloxone: Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Combats Substance Use Disorder in South Carolina.

In 2021, NASEMSO created the Opioid and Substance Abuse Disorder Committee to share EMS best practices in response to overdose patients.  For more information about the committee, visit NASEMSO Opioid & SUD Committee