NLR police receive $300K grant to form Overdose Response Team

The North Little Rock Police Department is creating a three-person team to address drug overdoses after receiving a grant of more than $300,000. The Overdose Response Team will consist of a criminal investigator, mental health professional and peer recovery specialist, according to a press release, and will be funded for two years of operation with a grant of $318,421 from the Arkansas Opioid Recovery Partnership.

The criminal investigator will work with law enforcement agencies at crime scenes to seek out narcotic suppliers for prosecution along with the federal Drug Enforcement Agency’s Tactical Drug Division. The mental health professional and peer recovery specialist will keep track of overdose victims and promote treatment and recovery as well as assist families members in the event of fatal overdoses. They will also provide education about the dangers of substance abuse with local groups, schools and houses of worship, the press release said.

The Arkansas Opioid Recovery Partnership is a partnership formed last year between the Arkansas Municipal League and the Association of Arkansas Counties and is funded by Arkansas’s share of the National Prescription Opiate Litigation. The group has approved 59 grant applications worth $7.6 million with many more applications in the works. The group expects to distribute more than $250 million over 10 to 15 years, according to its May quarterly report.

The organization has also funded Overdose Response Teams with the Craighead County Sheriff’s Department and the Hot Springs Police Department. The teams have responded to two non-fatal overdoses, three fatal overdoses, made eight referrals for treatment or recovery support and two arrests.

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Office of the State Drug Director