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Cape Regional Launches CARES Program to Combat Opioid Addiction

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

September 05, 2017

CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE – Cape Regional Medical Center is helping those affected by opioid substance use disorder by connecting them with recovery services and support immediately after a "reversal" from an overdose. Cape Regional has been awarded a grant from the Department of Human Services/Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services to increase the number of individuals entering treatment and recovery programs after a non-fatal opioid overdose while decreasing the number of overdoses and overdose deaths in Cape May County.

Since the program launched on August 1, 2017, Cape Addiction Recovery Services (CARES) has enrolled seventeen individuals. When an individual overdoses and is saved or "reversed" with an opiate antidote, he or she is brought to the hospital for evaluation in the emergency department. The clinical team notifies the Cape Regional Recovery Specialist to meet with the individual at bedside within 30 minutes. The goal is to help break the cycle of addiction.

The Recovery Specialists provide non-clinical assistance, recovery support and make appropriate referrals for assessment and treatment. Each participant in the CARES program is assisted by both a Recovery Specialist and a Patient Navigator who work together to determine the individualized resources needed to get them back on track in order to maintain recovery. The Recovery Specialist stays connected with the participant for up to one year, providing support and encouragement for a successful outcome.

"As a Patient Navigator, it is my job to establish a trusting relationship with those in need so I can understand the obstacles they face in maintaining recovery," relays Sue Anne Agger, CARES Patient Navigator. "They may need help with financial support, finding housing or employment. Whatever is the need, my colleagues and I are here to help."

Cape Regional has partnered with many local, state and regional organizations for the success of the participants. Cape Counseling Services, The Lighthouse Church-Christians United for Recovery (C.U.R.E.), Cape Assist, Middle Township Police Department and Cape May County Human Services are several of the local partners. The CARES team stays closely connected with their clients through home visits, phone calls, text and emails. The service is available 24/7. For more information, please call 609.435.6272.