This year's proceeds will benefit an innovative program called COPE – Community Outreach and Prevention Education. The goal of COPE is to move the overdose survivor from the ER to treatment regardless of insurance status, and to work with the survivor and family on how to navigate insurance coverage and ways to get treatment.
What else are we doing here in Chester County to address the opioid and heroin problem?
We have established an Overdose Prevention Task Force, led by our Commissioners, District Attorney, Health Department and Department of Drug and Alcohol Services. The District Attorney is taking a strong stance in the arrest and prosecution of individuals who deal the drugs (and he even notes that dealers now charge a premium to come to Chester County), while diverting addicts into counseling and treatment.
Members of our Department of Drug and Alcohol Services are going to great lengths to ensure that access to appropriate drug treatment is available. The department is also conducting public awareness events and working with County and community partners to educate the public on prevention and treatment resources, overdose risks and responses, prescription medication misuse/abuse and medication collection boxes, and other topics including insurance laws and benefits for substance abuse treatment.
Our Health Department is tackling the epidemic from a public health perspective, setting up an overdose death review team to track data, identify trends and make recommendations for policy creation. Importantly, they are focusing on the education of doctors and other health care providers on opiate prescribing practices.