Indy EMS to tackle opioid addiction with grant funding

The grant will help pay for a project to link people who struggle with addiction to addiction treatment services


INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services was the recipient of a grant award to reduce opioid overdoses.

The "Drug Free Marion County" grant is to the Outreach Division of Indianapolis EMS, ProjectPOINT, administered by the IEMS CORE Mobile Integrated Health Team. ProjectPOINT represents Planned Outreach, Intervention, Naloxone and Treatment.

Through this project, persons who have received naloxone by first responders will be linked with the IEMS CORE team.

The goal is to engage and bridge the patient to a community partner specializing in addiction treatment services.

This will represent the agency’s third step in a concentrated effort to beat opioid addiction, the first two being awareness and intervention.

Dr. Dan O’Donnell, chief medical director with Indianapolis EMS said, "We have been successful in making citizens aware of the dangers of opiate addiction. We have seen great success in the deployment offirst-responder naloxone to save lives. Now we will intervene at that lifesaving moment to help the individual move into treatment and past opiate addiction."

Currently, the IEMS CORE team conducts outreach, education and intervention efforts in the community. The group was initially created to reduce high numbers of emergency room visits and returns, focusing on persons suffering pediatric asthma and cardiac-related issues when it formed in 2012.

By collaborating with clinical facilities, mental health professionals, social workers and law enforcement partners, the team has been able to expand their role in the community.

For the past year, the focus has expanded to include persons suffering mental illness and addiction as well as those who have limited financial resources. 

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