Project Save Lives: BAY COUNTY

Project Saves Lives: BAY COUNTY

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To begin 2023, Florida Springs is incredibly proud to announce the continuation of Project Save Lives in Bay County Florida. Project Save Lives Jacksonville was originally envisioned and launched by one of Florida Springs’ founders, Dr. Raymond Pomm, in order to more directly and effectively target the causes of opioid overdoses and deaths, and the addiction crisis itself. Today we would like to give some background specifics on Project Save Lives, so that people understand why this will be a gamechanger for Bay County. As always, if you or a loved one needs immediate information on the best drug and alcohol rehab in Florida, call us today or visit our site. Florida Springs Wellness and Recovery Center is in the Florida Panhandle in Panama City.

Project Save Lives

Project Save Lives (PSL) is a collaborative, citywide substance-related program, now based in the emergency rooms. Participants are identified as they enter the emergency room, and peer support specialists, individuals who have battled and survived addiction and co-occurring challenges themselves; help patients begin their journey to wellness and recovery. This is a new layer of compassion, with the peer support specialists working in the hospital. They will be able to connect with participants on a much deeper level than previously available in any hospital setting.

Project Save Lives was the first program of its kind for hospitals in Jacksonville and it will be the first of its kind in Bay County. It is our hope that, one day soon, this program is provided across the state of Florida. Bay County is a huge step in that direction. We continue to improve hospital and treatment readmission in Jacksonville, because of the great work the hospital bridge program team does daily. The lessons learned in Jacksonville make this new frontier in and around Panama City possible.

Any person with substance-related and/or mental health challenges is eligible for the program, including those that were transported by EMS or self-transported to the ED. After the ED staff stabilizes the patient as per the standard procedure, the peer is alerted to speak with the patient regarding his/her situation and the possible next steps, including treatment options for substance abuse. Once the peer obtains consent for the program from the patient, referrals and direct linkages to drug treatment programs are made as indicated. The patient is then triaged into the detox, inpatient, or outpatient programs at a participating detoxification location. The peers provide transportation and a warm handoff for patients’ immediately entering treatment. If a patient declines treatment but agrees to future contacts or follow-up calls, the peer contacts the patient on a weekly basis for up to 3 months to support the patient and to see if he/she may be interested in treatment options. Peers will also track and support those patients admitted to the hospital floor from the ED. It’s best practice for NARCAN, with education on its use, to be given to all SUD patients, family/significant other(s) as a precautionary measure. The wider availability of Narcan was a staple of Project Save Lives Jacksonville, and that same initiative will now save lives in Bay County.  

Project Saves Lives: BAY COUNTY

Peer Support Specialists

New peer support specialists already on the ground in Bay County will be key in the successful transition from Jacksonville to Bay County. Our peer support specialists not only work in the ED and hospital setting, but they are also in our detox unit and on-campus, providing services both individually and in group sessions.

The nature of peer support services is an honest and trusting relationship between the peer support specialist and the person receiving support in the ED. When an individual feels the peer is a true peer (someone who has lived experience with a mental health condition and/or addiction), which is the basis of “language of the heart” can build a supportive relationship and the foundation for assisting them in moving along one of the many pathways of recovery.

This trusting relationship is based on acceptance and empathy that is culturally sensitive, promoting hope, respect, and dignity. This allows for a great degree of sharing, validating, and normalizing which is critical to the peer relationship. Peers build on a mutually responsible relationship with the intention to change patterns demonstrating full respect for each person’s unique process of change.

A peer support specialist is an advocate, mentor, and supporter of person-first choices. Peers do not endorse any program of recovery, which allows the participant their own personal choice in their road to recovery.

Peer Support Specialists assist peers both individually and in groups by:

  • Helping peers create individual recovery plans based on their recovery goals and steps to achieve those goals.
  • Using recovery-oriented tools to help their peers address challenges
  • Supporting peers in their decision-making to promote wellness & recovery
  • Offering a sounding board and a shoulder to lean on, during challenging times
  • Advocating with individuals for what they need
  • Supporting people in crisis and by creating a crisis plan to use during these times
  • Sharing their lived experiences and personal stories of recovery

This relationship helps participants to focus on moving forward towards positive changes they want versus being stuck in a negative-grounded focus. In many ways, peer support services help individuals to engage and actively participate in effective professional services, self-management, and recovery.

Florida Springs is the best drug and alcohol rehab and treatment facility in Florida, located in the Florida Panhandle in Panama City, and we can help you or your family member today. Please call us or contact us for more information.