Saving Lives Task Force updated on mobile crisis calls, prescription opioid use

Published 3:54 pm Thursday, October 7, 2021

In 2020, mobile crisis teams responded 106 times to Dare County folks calling for help with a mental or substance use crisis.

Keith Hamm delivered the mobile crisis service annual update to Dare County’s Saving Lives Task Force at a virtual meeting Sept. 21. The mobile crisis service is part of the Trillium network of services. Dare is served by Integrated Family Services PLLC.

Hamm said of the 106 calls, 81 were diverted from hospitalization.

Adults made 44 of those mental health calls. Crisis calls about children totaled 24. Substance use calls numbered 38 calls.

Hamm said that 106 calls were a low number for Dare County.

Mobile crisis teams arrived at the locations of 56 of those calls within an hour or less and 47 within two hours. Three hours were used to arrive for a trio of calls.

Hamm reported that in 2021, mobile units had answered 41 calls from individuals seeking detox facilities. The agency was only able to link 20 of those individuals to a facility. Through June 2021, 56 calls had been received by Integrated Family Services.

To reach Integrated Family Services, call 1-866-437-1821.

Information about prescription opioid use in Dare County was shared with the task force.

Dare County, with 108 deaths, had the fifth highest unintentional opioid overdose rate in North Carolina in 2019.

In 2019, 18% or 6,721 Dare County residents had an opioid prescription dispensed. According to the information sheet provided, “that’s enough opioid pills for every man, woman and child in Dare County to have 46 opioid pills.”

Of the 6,721 residents with an opioid prescription, 1,227 people were also prescribed benzodiazepines – such as Xanax, Ativan or Valium – which increase the risk of overdose.

Some 69% of Dare County residents with an opioid prescription had their prescription written by a healthcare provider in Dare County, states the information sheet.

Drop off expired and/or unused medications safely and anonymously at one of these drug drop box locations: CVS Pharmacies in Kill Devil Hills and Manteo, Walgreens in Kill Devil Hills, and police departments in Duck, Kill Devil Hills, Kitty Hawk, Nags Head and Southern Shores. Call the Dare County Sheriff’s Office at 252-475-5980 to have no longer needed prescription medications picked up.

Each quarter, Dare County Emergency Medical Services provides the Saving Lives Task Force with information about overdose calls. In July reporting for the second quarter, the department said 17 calls were received where Naloxone was used. Five were heroin calls. Nine were cardiac episodes with seven successfully resuscitated and two unsuccessfully.

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