Constituting an expansion of the generalized overdose education and response training provided through the MO-HOPE and MORE projects targeting eastern and rural Missouri counties, respectively, the DOTS project will leverage existing infrastructure, tailor the evidence-based SHIELD training to fit local needs and address all types of first responder audiences, enhance occupational safety, and bridge the gap in post-overdose receipt of care. Simply put, the DOTS project will “connect the dots” between overdose prevention and response initiatives across Missouri. DOTS will follow a three-pronged approach: 1) facilitation of cross-sectoral and collaborative curriculum adaptation and train-the-trainer workshops; 2) delivery of occupational safety and public-health oriented overdose response training for first responders, focusing on hotspot areas in high-need counties with unmet need; and 3) implementation of secondary prevention strategies, including the distribution of naloxone.
The five primary goals of the DOTS program are to:
1) Expand access to occupational safety and public-health oriented training through locally-led adaptation of the SHIELD curriculum to include non-police emergency responders and online modules;
2) Implement SHIELD training to improve police practices, responders’ ability to respond safely and effectively to overdose events, and attitudes that promote both occupational safety and public health-minded practices;
3) Reduce the number of fatal opioid overdose events in Missouri through naloxone distribution;
4) Improve first responders’ ability to make appropriate post-overdose service referrals by increasing the number and quality of collaborations between first responders and community treatment, recovery, and social service providers;
5) Increase the number of overdose survivors who are connected to treatment and/or recovery services following an overdose event.