RASE of York and Adams Counties was established in 2015 and exists to reduce the stigma associated with the disease of addiction as well as offering Recovery Support Services, Recovery Coaching, and Buprenorphine Care Coordination.
The York office is located at 18 South George Street, just off the square and in close proximity to many treatment and recovery oriented services and public transportation. The second office, located in Hanover, is located at 1 Center Square.
RASE of York and Adams counties lends guidance not only to the individual who suffers, but also to their families, loved ones, employers, friends, neighbors, and the community as a whole by providing a variety of services. One of those services is the “Warm Hand-Off” or “WHO” initiative. We asked Katelynn Henicle, who is a Warm Handoff Responder with RASE, for more information about this program. Here’s some of our conversation:
What is the WHO (Warm Hand-Off) initiative?
The WHO initiative aims to ensure that overdose survivors are provided with resources, access to treatment, and hope of recovery. The initiative was created for overdose survivors, but we serve anyone suffering from substance abuse disorder. We work with Gettysburg Hospital, Hanover Hospital, York Hospital, and Memorial Hospital. Not only will we refer people to immediate detox treatment, we also provide coordination for LOCA (level of care assessment), outpatient services, recovery housing, recovery support, and other resources that will aid the participant.
What has been the biggest success of the WHO initiative?
One of the biggest successes of the WHO initiative has been breaking the stigma of addiction. Through working with the emergency departments and local governments we have educated people on how to help those who are suffering. We also get to be an example of recovery in the community, allowing us to be a light in the darkest moments of people’s lives. There is a small window of opportunity to work with people after they overdose. The WHO program offers that immediate action right from the emergency department by peer support. The WHO initiative has also created the model for continued engagement. We follow up with people up to a year after our first encounter. This consists of aiding them with all resources at multiple stages of their journey. Some people may refuse treatment, but from building rapport during that encounter, they might call three months later for help.
What needs to be in place to ensure the future success of the WHO initiative?
For there to continue to be success with the WHO initiative we need to maintain easy access to treatment. Continued support and resources are required when battling the disease of addiction. It may take someone multiple times in treatment until they are able to maintain recovery. For WHO, employing people in long term recovery has been the most beneficial aspect I have seen personally. People suffering from addiction are more receptive to someone with lived experience.
What do you believe is the most impactful thing our system/community can do to help individuals pursuing recovery?
I believe the most impactful thing our community can do to help individuals pursuing recovery is breaking the stigma of addiction. This would create an effect on the lives of people before and after treatment. Addiction is not overcome in 30 days of treatment. Addiction affects the whole family, and the whole community. With an attitude of understanding and compassion we create an environment for recovery.
To find more information about the RASE Project, please visit their website online.