Starting 1/2/2018-PVD Safe Stations provides 24/7 support to opioid dependent individuals, directs people to treatment and recovery services
PROVIDENCE, RI – Mayor Jorge Elorza today announced that the City is launching PVD Safe Stations on January 2, 2018, which provides opioid-dependent and other substance use disorder individuals the ability to connect with treatment and recovery services in Providence. Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, any person can visit one of Providence’s 12 fire stations, speak with public safety officials on duty and immediately get connected to treatment support for substance based addiction. Services will be facilitated by The Providence Center, the state’s leading mental health and addiction treatment provider.
“The opioid epidemic is a growing public health crisis that has swept across our nation,” said Mayor Jorge Elorza. “PVD Safe Stations is an innovative city-wide response, to help those struggling with addiction and substance use disorders. I, along with state and local partners, are committed to tackling this crisis head-on and will continue to provide opportunities to keep people healthy and safe.”
Drug overdoses in Rhode Island are a public health crisis and the numbers of deaths are steadily increasing. This crisis has been particularly evident in Providence given that it serves as the urban center of the state and houses many of the state’s resources including transportation hubs, entertainment, social services, and medical services. According to Prevent Overdose RI, approximately one in four of Rhode Island’s overdose deaths occur in Providence.
“We have been very impressed with the action taken by the City of Providence, the Fire Department and The Providence Center in creating this program in response to the opioid crisis,” Rebecca Boss, Director of the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities & Hospitals said. “We look forward to the launch of Safe Stations as another point of access for those who suffer from substance use disorders. Breaking down barriers to services is crucial to receiving treatment and starting recovery.”
To address this public health issue, the City of Providence has partnered with the Providence Center, the State of Rhode Island’s Department of Health (DOH) and Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals (BHDDH) to create Providence Safe Stations.
“The opioid epidemic has had devastating effects on individuals and communities across the nation,” said Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare. “Part of ensuring public safety is making sure that people who are willing to seek help and get on the right path have the support to do so. I thank the Providence Fire Department and partners involved for their work to help curve drug abuse.”
Based on a successful program model from Manchester, NH, PVD Safe Stations is in alignment with the State of Rhode Island’s Overdose Prevention Action Plan, which includes expansion of peer recovery services and access to treatment options for long-term recovery. The overarching goal for the City and State for PVD Safe Stations is to reduce opioid overdose-related deaths and provide individuals with critical supports.
“What the overdose epidemic has demonstrated is that the disease of addiction makes no distinction between race, ethnicity, gender or socio-economic status,” said Deborah O’Brien, President of The Providence Center. “Addiction is powerful. When a person decides to reach out to seek help, our community should reach back and do everything it can to connect that person with treatment, recovery, and hope,” O’Brien said. “The Providence Center is committed to meeting the community’s needs by improving the means to access care for all behavioral health disorders. The creation of safe spaces throughout the City of Providence where individuals can meet with a recovery coach and be connected to the treatment they need is an innovative approach to community-based care. We’re proud to be part of this effort.”
Last week, the Rhode Island Department of Health issued a public health advisory due to increased drug overdose activity in Providence. From Monday, November 27 to Sunday, December 3, RIDOH received ten reports of suspected drug overdoses.
PVD Safe Stations will launch January 2, 2018 and will be active at all Providence fire stations.
Providence Fire Station Locations:
Engine 2 | Rescue 3 10 Branch Avenue
Engine 3 | 325 Washington Street
Engine 6 | Rescue 2 489 Hartford Avenue
Engine 7 | Rescue 5 151 North Main Street
Engine 8 | 201 Messer Street
Engine 9 | 223 Brook Street
Engine 10 | Rescue 1 847 Broad Street
Engine 11 | 274 Reservoir Avenue
Engine 12 | Rescue 7 426 Admiral Street
Engine 13 | 776 Allens Avenue
Engine 14 | Rescue 6 630 Atwells Avenue
Engine 15 | 136 Mt. Pleasant Avenue
For more information, visit www.PVDSafeStations.com.