Mayor Elorza, State Partners Announce PVD Safe Stations

Starting 1/2/2018-PVD Safe Stations provides 24/7 support to opioid dependent
individuals, directs people to treatment and recovery services

PROVIDENCE, RI – Mayor Jorge Elorza today announced that the City is launching PVD
Safe Stations on January 2, 2018, which provides opioid-dependent and other
substance use disorder individuals the ability to connect with treatment and
recovery services in Providence. Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, any
person can visit one of Providence’s 12 fire stations, speak with public safety
officials on duty and immediately get connected to treatment support for substance
based addiction. Services will be facilitated by The Providence Center, the state’s
leading mental health and addiction treatment provider.

«The opioid epidemic is a growing public health crisis that has swept across our
nation,» said Mayor Jorge Elorza. «PVD Safe Stations is an innovative city-wide
response, to help those struggling with addiction and substance use disorders. I,
along with state and local partners, are committed to tackling this crisis head-on
and will continue to provide opportunities to keep people healthy and safe.»

Drug overdoses in Rhode Island are a public health crisis and the numbers of deaths
are steadily increasing. This crisis has been particularly evident in Providence
given that it serves as the urban center of the state and houses many of the state’s
resources including transportation hubs, entertainment, social services, and medical
services. According to Prevent Overdose RI, approximately one in four of Rhode
Island’s overdose deaths occur in Providence.

«We have been very impressed with the action taken by the City of Providence, the
Fire Department and The Providence Center in creating this program in response to
the opioid crisis,» Rebecca Boss, Director of the Department of Behavioral
Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities & Hospitals said. «We look forward to the
launch of Safe Stations as another point of access for those who suffer from
substance use disorders. Breaking down barriers to services is crucial to receiving
treatment and starting recovery.»

To address this public health issue, the City of Providence has partnered with the
Providence Center, the State of Rhode Island’s Department of Health (DOH) and Rhode
Island Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals
(BHDDH to create Providence Safe Stations.
«The opioid epidemic has had devastating effects on individuals and communities
across the nation,» said Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare. «Part of ensuring
public safety is making sure that people who are willing to seek help and get on the
right path have the support to do so. I thank the Providence Fire Department and
partners involved for their work to help curve drug abuse.»

Based on a successful program model from Manchester, NH, PVD Safe Stations is in
alignment with the State of Rhode Island’s Overdose Prevention Action Plan, which
includes expansion of peer recovery services and access to treatment options for
long-term recovery. The overarching goal for the City and State for PVD Safe
Stations is to reduce opioid overdose-related deaths and provide individuals with
critical supports.

«What the overdose epidemic has demonstrated is that the disease of addiction makes
no distinction between race, ethnicity, gender or socio-economic status,» said
Deborah O’Brien, President of The Providence Center. «Addiction is powerful. When a
person decides to reach out to seek help, our community should reach back and do
everything it can to connect that person with treatment, recovery, and hope,»
O’Brien said. «The Providence Center is committed to meeting the community’s needs
by improving the means to access care for all behavioral health disorders. The
creation of safe spaces throughout the City of Providence where individuals can meet
with a recovery coach and be connected to the treatment they need is an innovative
approach to community-based care. We’re proud to be part of this effort.»

Last week, the Rhode Island Department of Health issued a public health advisory due
to increased drug overdose activity in Providence. From Monday, November 27 to
Sunday, December 3, RIDOH received ten reports of suspected drug overdoses.

PVD Safe Stations will launch January 2, 2018 and will be active at all Providence
fire stations.

Providence Fire Station Locations:

Engine 2 | Rescue 3 10 Branch Avenue
Engine 3 | 325 Washington Street
Engine 6 | Rescue 2 489 Hartford Avenue
Engine 7 | Rescue 5 151 North Main Street
Engine 8 | 201 Messer Street
Engine 9 | 223 Brook Street
Engine 10 | Rescue 1 847 Broad Street
Engine 11 | 274 Reservoir Avenue
Engine 12 | Rescue 7 426 Admiral Street
Engine 13 | 776 Allens Avenue
Engine 14 | Rescue 6 630 Atwells Avenue
Engine 15 | 136 Mt. Pleasant Avenue

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