CORE in Flagler | Florida Department of Health

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Flagler County, Florida – Today, Deputy Minister of Health Dr. Kenneth Scheppke and Florida (DCF) Assistant Secretary for Children and Families for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Erica Floyd Thomas along with community partners visited the extension Coordinated Opioid Recovery (CORE) in Flagler County – Comprehensive Opioid Addiction Treatment Network.

This year, Florida experienced over 4000 fatal overdose reported. In Flagler County, EMS reported that teams responded to more than 400 overdose calls in 2021.

The CORE Network is the first of its kind in the nation and is coordinated by the Florida Department of Health, the Department of Children and Families and the Agency for Health Care Administration. The CORE Network’s comprehensive treatment approach extends every aspect of the overdose response to create a comprehensive ongoing system of care and patient navigation that holistically addresses all primary and secondary impacts of substance use disorder.

“The current standard of care for substance use disorder is outdated. The current response to overdoses in most of the United States treats acute overdoses without providing access to sustainable care,” said Dr. Kenneth Scheppke, Assistant Secretary of Health. “That’s exactly why we developed CORE. This program facilitates the necessary connections between local emergency response and specialty health networks to not only respond to acute overdoses, but also connect individuals with substance use disorders to sustainable and long-term care.

In the wake of Hurricane Ian, there are also concerns about increased substance use and overdose deaths due to the impact on the mental health of individuals and the disruption of normal pharmaceutical supply chains. It is important that community partners provide resources to their communities as we continue our recovery efforts. We must remain vigilant both now and in the long term to prevent overdose deaths.

“CORE Network goes far beyond crisis treatment and stabilization,” said DCF Assistant Secretary for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Erica Floyd Thomas. “This model uses a holistic approach that brings together key partners at all levels to meet the short- and long-term medical, physical, psychological and emotional needs of someone’s journey to recovery. With this approach, I am confident that together we can reduce the devastating impact opioids have on our children, our families and our communities.”

Substance abuse is a chronic multifaceted life-threatening disease. If an individual overdoses in Flagler County, EMS protocol initiates stabilization while transporting the patient to a specialty hospital with expertise in addiction medicine. Once all immediate health threats are stabilized, the patient’s long-term care needs will be transferred to a skilled multidisciplinary outpatient practice to support sustainable recovery.

CORE provides a personalized treatment umbrella from primary care to mental health support. By facilitating these connections in Flagler County, CORE is disrupting the revolving door of addiction by connecting overdoses to sustainable care in real time.

If you or someone you know is struggling with a substance use disorder and would like more information about CORE in Flagler County, you can contact Flagler Cares at 386-319-9483 or the Florida Department of Health in Flagler County.

If you suspect an overdose, call 911 immediately. The State of Florida has deployed resources that can be posted in public places to ensure Floridians remain alert for signs of overdose, how to respond and where help is available.

About the Florida Department of Health

Nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Council, the department works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

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