Wake County Drug Overdose Prevention Initiative

The Drug Overdose Prevention Initiative is designed to prevent and reduce substance use disorders in at-risk populations, support harm-reduction strategies, and link individuals to services to address social determinants of health. Through the Initiative, Wake County contracts with Healing Transitions, The Alice Aycock Poe Center for Health Education and Recovery Communities of North Carolina to address substance use and prevention efforts. The Initiative aligns with the NC Opioid Action Plan with these strategies:

  • Create a coordinated infrastructure
  • Reduce oversupply of prescription opioids
  • Reduce diversion and flow of illicit drugs
  • Increase community awareness and prevention
  • Make naloxone widely available and link overdose survivors to care
  • Expand treatment and recovery-oriented systems of care
  • Measure our impact and revise strategies based on results


Rapid Responder Post Overdose Response Team

The Rapid Responder Post Overdose Response Team (PORT) was created through a partnership with Wake County Public Health, Wake County EMS and Healing Transitions, whose employees are Certified Peer Support Specialists (CPSS). When EMS responds to someone who has overdosed, CPSS and EMS follow up with that individual and their families 24–48 hours post overdose to encourage those survivors to engage in treatment and recovery supports including social determinants of health. Healing Transitions plans to partner with WakeMed to provide follow-up care for individuals struggling with substance use.

A contracted program evaluator in recovery works closely with Healing Transitions staff on data collection and measurement of the PORT team and coordinates data collection and analysis to support targeted efforts and outcome measurements for the cross-systems work. The evaluator also developed an evaluation plan to measure and evaluate goals and objectives of the Initiative.