A Safe Station is a fire department that is available 24 hours a day to help those who are seeking aid with substance misuse disorder and are not in need of immediate medical attention. Once an individual enters the Safe Station for assistance, trained firefighters will provide a medical assessment to determine if there is anything else medically wrong with the patient that would require further medical attention. If the person is in need of medical attention, an ambulance will be provided to transport them to the nearest facility. If no concerning medical conditions are found, the patient will turn in any drug paraphernalia or needles to the fire department's collection area. The patient will have the opportunity to speak with a substance misuse coach and find a treatment plan that is right for their path to recovery. If weapons or illegal substances are involved, a police department will be notified and involved in their collection. This service aids hospitals by taking care of patients who are seeking assistance, but are not in immediate need of medical attention. The 24-hour service allows individuals to seek help as soon as they are ready, rather than waiting until a facility opens and risking repeated substance misuse. According to addictionpolicy.org, the Safe Stations in Manchester, New Hampshire have “developed and implemented without any new funding” and “has connected 1,326 people to treatment between May 4, 2016 and March 4, 2017.” Currently there are no Safe Stations in the state of Tennessee, but there are several successful stations in New Hampshire.
How can I do that?
1. Reach out to a fire department with a Safe Station program for advice.
2. Contact your local fire department about creating a Safe Station program.