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Introducing a New Toolkit for Emergency Departments: Navigating Substance Use with Compassion and Innovation

Apr 18, 2024 | News, Resources and Reports

Peer Recover Coaches in Hospital EDs: Changing Hearts and Minds About Addiction

The Mosaic Group, in collaboration with the National Association of County & City Health Officials (NACCHO), is proud to announce the release of a vital resource for healthcare professionals and their partners in public health: “Emergency Department-Based Substance Use Response: A Toolkit for Developing, Planning, and Implementing a Peer Recovery Coach Led Program.” This toolkit is designed to guide emergency departments (EDs) across the nation in creating and implementing programs that address substance use challenges head-on, offering hope and practical solutions to those in need.

Download this toolkit.

A Resource Born of Necessity

With drug overdoses now the leading cause of injury-related deaths in the U.S., the need for effective, compassionate, and innovative approaches within emergency settings has never been more critical. This toolkit arises from a shared commitment between the Mosaic Group and NACCHO to equip healthcare providers with the knowledge and tools they need to make a tangible difference in the lives of those affected by substance use disorders. Marla Oros, CEO and founder of Mosaic Group, notes, “As drug overdoses continue to be the number one cause of injury-related deaths in the U.S., there is a need for more effective ED-based programs to prevent overdoses and save lives.” This collaboration with NACCHO emphasizes a commitment to introducing evidence-based options that focus on the most vulnerable populations.

What Does the Toolkit Offer?

At its core, the toolkit provides a comprehensive roadmap for EDs, detailing how to:

  • Identify Patients at Risk: Utilizing targeted screening methods to quickly identify individuals at risk of substance use-related harms or overdose.
  • Incorporate Peer Recovery Coaches: Outlining the process for integrating Peer Recovery Coaches into the care team. These coaches, who have personal experience with substance use recovery, can offer invaluable support, empathy, and guidance to patients navigating their recovery journey.
  • Ensure Access to Essential Medications: Providing practical advice on facilitating access to medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD), a critical component of harm reduction and recovery support.
  • Build Effective Community Partnerships: Encouraging the establishment of partnerships with community organizations to ensure patients have access to ongoing treatment and support after leaving the ED.

Beyond the Toolkit: A Vision for Change

The introduction of this toolkit represents a significant step forward in the fight against substance use. By focusing on early intervention, personalized support, and comprehensive care, emergency departments can play a pivotal role in reducing the impact of substance use in their communities.

This is more than just a set of guidelines; it’s a call to action for healthcare professionals everywhere to adopt an effective response to substance use. It’s an invitation to join a community of care providers who are committed to making a real difference.

About Mosaic Group

Mosaic Group, is nationally recognized for effectively implementing community health and human services strategies to achieve health equity. Our primary focuses are:

  • Community Solutions for Health Equity
  • Complex Planning for Sustainable Change
  • Behavioral Health Integration
  • Overdose Prevention and Response


This toolkit was developed by Mosaic Group in partnership with National Association of County & City Health Officials (NACCHO).

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