Cincinnati piloting Quick Response Team to fight heroin in Price Hill

CINCINNATI -- As the Tri-State’s heroin epidemic marches onward, Cincinnati hopes piloting a quick response team (QRT) program can lessen the scourge in one of the city’s most affected neighborhoods: Price Hill.

This pilot QRT has been running for six weeks with a fire lieutenant, a police officer and a representative of the Talbert House meeting with nine individuals so far, according to Assistant Police Chief Lt. Paul Neudigate.

Two individuals have been in treatment at the Center for Addiction Treatment while another three are in intensive outpatient therapy, according to health department officials presenting before city council’s law and public safety committee on Monday.

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The health department also plans to create a centralized resource “dashboard” of treatment facilities to be updated in real time, which city council member Kevin Flynn said would allow responders to treat people instead of carting them off to jail.

Since heroin overdoses place a large burden on police and EMS services, departments in Norwood, Colerain Township, Kenton County and Lawrenceburg have already adopted the QRT strategy to handle overdoses and schedule follow-up visits with addicts. 

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West Price Hill tops Cincinnati's list of neighborhoods affected by the heroin epidemic, with the health department reporting 208 heroin incidents from May 1, 2016, until May 10, 2017.

The top five affected neighborhoods were rounded out by Westwood (166 incidents), Downtown (145), East Price Hill (143) and Over-the-Rhine (133).

The health department provided data and graphs showing the extent of heroin overdoses in Price Hill and throughout Cincinnati. See the full presentation in the box below.

READ more of WCPO's coverage of the heroin epidemic in the Tri-State.

Additional reporting contributed by 9 On Your Side Reporter Evan Millward.

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