Larrecsa Cox is a paramedic and leader of the Quick Response Team in Huntington, W. Va.

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Aiding Recovery in the Nation's Overdose Capital

by Larrecsa Cox 09-24-2019
As told to Sojourners

A 2017 memorial in Huntington, W. Va. / Brendan Smialowski / AFP / Getty Images

“WITHIN 72 HOURS after an overdose, the Quick Response Team—me, a faith leader, a counselor or peer coach, and a police officer—will go out to that individual, either where they overdosed or where they reside. We introduce ourselves and tell them they are not in trouble—we are not here for that. Then we ask if they’ve thought about recovery. If they have, we’ll lay out all the options and let them decide for themselves what they want to do.

We have been to homes that are a quarter of a million dollars all the way to abandoned homes that have no floors because they’re rotted out. Our oldest client was 78. All races, all tax brackets, it doesn’t matter.