"We don't quit on them": Heroin Quick Response Team expands
CINCINNATI (WKRC) - A grant is now paying for a countywide Quick Response Team (or QRT) that can now reach out to every person who overdoses in Hamilton County.
QRT members know everyone who overdosed, and they track them down.
This story begins two years ago in Norwood. Members of the Quick response team tried to call a woman who overdosed on heroin the day before. Her sister answered the phone.
"I've been praying for help for me, so my kids, my family don't have to see me in my grave,” said Stephanie, who went into treatment, got out, fell back into heroin and asked the team for help again and got it.
"They've kept in contact with me to make sure I'm okay,” said Stephanie.
Now, Stephanie is in a sober living house. She's doing so well, she's now allowed to see 4-year-old Jacson, the son she gave up when all she cared about was getting high.
"Today I can take him places kiss on him. Wake up with him kissing on me. I play with him, not worried about we can't only play before I have to take a shot,” said Stephanie.
The Fusion Center keeps track of the overdoses. The team plans the day of reaching out. Some overdosed in Hamilton County, but now live somewhere else like Clermont County or Kentucky.
"It averages five to ten a day overdoses,” said Heroin Task Force Commander Tom Fallon.
Commander Fallon is the one who talked to Stephanie that day in 2016. "You don't just drop them off and it's done,” said Commander Fallon. “[It] shows effectiveness if you stay engaged, you can save their life.”
Stephanie says she would not be in sober living without the team that did not give up on her. "Would probably be where my sister is at,” said Stephanie.
Stephanie's sister, Tiffany, the one the team was looking for back in 2016, died in January from a heroin overdose.
If you need help, you can call the Addiction Services Council.
In Ohio, the number to call is 513-281-7880.
In Northern Kentucky, it's 859-415-9280