Innovative Initiatives

One of the ways in which jurisdictions are combating the epidemic of drug overdoses in communities is through the use of “spike alerts,” that is, targeted messages that notify recipients that there is an unexpected increase in drug-related overdoses in a specific area. The purpose of these notifications is to “reduce injury or death from opioid overdoses during spike events.” ...

Project for Pride in Living (PPL) was founded in 1972 by Joe Selvaggio to create affordable housing for those in need. It began by renovating houses and now builds affordable housing for qualified individuals in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul) area of Minnesota. Additionally, since its inception, PPL has offered employment training to the services it offers. ...

The CAHOOTS (Crisis Assistance Helping Out on the Streets) mobile crisis intervention program responds to non-police emergencies in the cities of Eugene and Springfield, Oregon. CAHOOTS teams are staffed by a medic and a mental health crisis worker, and receive over 500 hours of training, which includes education on de-escalation and crisis intervention. ...

Opened on Oct. 1, 2018, the mission of the Austin (Travis County, Texas) Sobering Center is “to enhance public health and public safety by providing an alternative to the emergency room and jail for publicly intoxicated individuals to sober up and, when appropriate, provide a safe environment to initiative recovery.” Only Austin’s first responders (e.g., law enforcement officers and emergency medical technicians) are permitted to bring people under the influence of any substance except PCP to withdraw at the Center....

Tennessee Recovery Oriented Compliance Strategy (TN ROCS) was founded in 2013 by Circuit Court Judge O. Duane Slone to work with drug offenders with opioid use disorders (OUDs) who did not qualify for his drug recovery court. The program relies on the practices and principles of drug court, requires fewer resources, and is based on three components: (1) obtaining an accurate screening and assessment and providing a referral to the proper level of treatment for an appropriate period of time; (2) frequent accountability through appropriate levels of supervision; and (3) the knowledge that the judge has power over the participant’s freedom....