Columbus Using Federal Funds To Launch Second Overdose Response Team

Feb 24, 2020

Columbus City Council on Monday night approved $371,523 in federal money to help fund a second Rapid Response Emergency Addiction Crisis Team in Franklin County. 

RREACT aims to break the cycle of addiction by offering support services to people who survive an overdose, but who refuse medical treatment or other help after being administered Narcan. The unit follows up with individuals within 48 hours of an overdose incident. 

The city's second unit was already in the works before a recent rash of overdoses in the region.

“I welcome the engagement of the federal government to assist us,” said Columbus City Council member Mitchell J. Brown. “We don’t want to put people in jail because they are suffering from an addictive behavior. We want to make sure they get the right care and help.”

Columbus Fire Department Battalion Chief Steve Martin says funding for a second team will allow the program to have a broader reach.  

“Our first one, they respond to runs that Columbus Fire responds to,” Martin says. “I believe with the second team, that’s going to enable us, if they’re available, they will be able to start responding to some of the outlying suburbs outside of Columbus.” 

Funding for RREACT comes through the CDC's Overdose Data to Action program. The units are overseen by the Department of Public Safety.