A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Boone County creates Quick Response Team to deal with addiction; region’s No. 1 public safety issue

Boone County has initiated a plan to combat the drug addiction crisis that has crippled the region by creating a Quick Response Team (QRT) to aid in the recovery of those who overdose.

A QRT team of three; a specially trained sheriff’s deputy, an emergency medical services representative, and an addiction services counselor make follow-up visits to those who have overdosed providing them the answers and resources to fight their addiction.

“This Quick Response Team is another tool that will be added to our 24 hour helpline and other community efforts”, said Boone County Judge Executive Gary Moore.

A literature campaign is also being developed to provide direction to those individuals and their families caught up in the cycle.

Recognizing that heroin and opioid addiction have become the number one public safety issue in Boone County, Judge Executive Gary Moore and Sheriff Michael A. Helmig joined forces to bring the same program that has been so successful in Colerain Township (OH) to Boone County.

Boone County Sheriff Mike Helmig (left) and Judge/Executive Gary Moore are working to develop a Quick Response Team to combat the addiction crisis in the county.

Colerain Township reports that almost 70 percent of individuals who are touched by the QRT seek treatment.  Additionally, they have realized a 40 percent reduction in overdoses since implementing the program.

Judge Moore and Sheriff Helmig came to the conclusion that traditional law enforcement methods were failing so they adopted the three prong approach of “education, enforcement, and recovery”.

“We cannot arrest our way out of this crisis”, Sheriff Helmig said.  “But be certain, we will not let up one ounce on our enforcement efforts.  We will help those who want out of their vicious cycle of addiction all the while stepping up our investigations and enforcement of those bringing drugs into our communities.”

Boone County Sheriff’s office

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