4/23 Bridge Coalition Meeting Notes

Opening Comments (Sarah): 

  • Formal live Introductions were done due to the smaller group size,
  • Focusing on return to community: safe housing, relationships, and supporting young adults facing unaccompanied homelessness interests and passions,
  • A quick discussion on data that showed nearly 80% of young adults exiting inpatient treatment became homeless 3-12 months after they left.

The Bridge Scope and Vision (Vy): 

  • High rate of return to homelessness for young people exiting inpatient care,
  • Cross-system information sharing and training,
  • Developing Return To Community Plan,
  • Developing opportunities for systems reform,
  • Respect encouraged in this space.

Naloxone Training – Nicole Rodin:

During the Bridge Coalition’s April 23rd meeting, attendees had the invaluable opportunity to participate in a Naloxone Training session led by the esteemed Nicole Rodin, Assistant Professor at Washington State University College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.. The objectives of the training were clearly outlined: 1. to familiarize participants with current trends surrounding the Opioid Epidemic 2. to recognize signs and symptoms of a possible overdose 3. to equip them with the steps for responding to an overdose situation 4. and to provide a comprehensive understanding of the proper use and administration of naloxone.

Nicole began by contextualizing the training within the broader context of the Opioid Crisis, highlighting the three waves that have shaped its trajectory: the proliferation of prescription pills in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the surge in heroin use in 2010, and the emergence of synthetic opioids, particularly Fentanyl, around 2016. Shocking statistics were shared, underscoring the severity of the crisis in Washington State, where opioid-related deaths have nearly doubled from 2019 to 2021, with Fentanyl playing a significant role in a quarter of opioid overdoses.

With a detailed analysis and visual aids, Nicole provided insight into the current landscape of opioids in Washington State. She addressed common concerns surrounding Fentanyl, such as secondhand smoke and accidental exposure, debunking myths and providing practical guidance for handling potential scenarios. The heart of the training centered on Fentanyl and Naloxone. Nicole delved into Naloxone as a potent reversal agent for opioid overdoses, emphasizing its safety and effectiveness across all populations, including animals. Dosage details were provided including three main points: multiple doses may be needed, repeat administration if no or minimal response after 2-3 minutes, and a patient cannot die from withdrawal symptoms. Additionally, she provided a 5-step protocol for administering Naloxone in overdose situations. Participants left the training equipped with life-saving skills and a deeper understanding of how to respond effectively to opioid overdoses.

In addition to the training session, Nicole generously shared PowerPoint slides for further reference, ensuring that attendees had access to valuable resources beyond the meeting. Her presentation will be shared in our upcoming recap email.

Agency Spotlight – Royal Life Center:

Samantha DeLeo shared a powerful personal journey through substance use disorder. Her story began with a harrowing encounter with fake fentanyl, leading to addiction. Tragically, she lost her daughter to SIDS, intensifying her struggle. Despite legal scrutiny surrounding her daughter’s passing, her daughter’s death was ultimately ruled as SIDS. Samantha found healing, a second chance, and treatment at Royal Life Centers’ Spokane location in 2019. Her story embodies resilience, breaking down stigma and offering hope for recovery. Now serving as Outreach Coordinator for Royal Life Center, she passionately highlighted the full continuum of care that Royal Life Center in Spokane and other locations provides:

  • Detox, Residential, PHP, IOP, OP, Graduate and Alumni programs.
  • Roughly 250 beds total across WA State, 80 of which are inpatient. Our focus is on long-term structured care.
  • Detox/Inpatient – 5 groups a day, meetings with counselor, doctors visits, 24 hour nursing care.
  • Clients are guests and are treated a such, chef cooked meals, laundry done, rooms cleaned.
  • Step down approach in outpatient. 12 Week program 6 days a week PHP 6 hrs day, IOP 3 hrs day, 3 and 1 time weekly. You can have your car, phone, job, social activities, curfew, UA, required to do outside AA and NA meetings.

Commercial insurance and Medicaid are accepted. Additional features Samantha highlighted were structured housing for PHP/IOP and graduate program, a new transportation team, Medication Assisted Management/MAT, Native American Recovery Programs, Veterans Valor Program, sober music studios, equine therapy, Biosound, access to a gym, sweat lodge’s, employment support, parenting/life skills, case management, and a virtual Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP).

Community Updates: 

  • No community updates, but Jim thanked the NorthStar Advocates team for all their work and dedication.

Closing Comments:  

  • Sarah mentioned emailing a NorthStar Advocate directly to receive a stipend if you identify as person with lived experience who is not being compensated by another organization,
  • Sarah and Jim thanked everyone for their support and participation in this work.
Sarah Spier
Author: Sarah Spier