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 The opioid epidemic is one of the largest public health crises in a generation. About 8.7 million children ages 17 and younger live in households with at least one parent with a substance use disorder, and an estimated 623,000 parents with opioid use disorder lives with children (Aron et al.,2020). Patient seeking medical attention for a potential overdose are more likely to continue using drugs and alcohol after discharge. An implementation of a care team needs to be developed in the hospital. Each day there are patients seen in the emergency department who have used drugs. Paterson has several drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs, but most patients do not seek these programs on their own. This new team will be consulted to see the patient from the moment the patient tests positive for drugs and/or alcohol.

            With the creation of this new care team, and patient seeking further treatments, there will be less drugs on the streets of Paterson. The children of someone suffering with addiction will have their parent back and not have to worry if a drug or alcohol will kill them. This new team will start speaking with patients as early as the first day of admission and continue to follow them through their hospital stay. The team will offer services, treatment plans, and set up transportation for the patient to the rehabilitation centers and back home. If a patient has a way of getting to and from the facility, they are more likely to continue seeking treatment. The team would talk to them regarding addiction and evaluate the readiness for rehabilitation. If the patient is willing to seek treatment, the team will facilitate placement and contacts for the patient after discharge. Paterson also has a large homeless population, and this team would also be able to facilitate shelters. This new team will also continue to follow their progression after discharge and offer any advice the patient may need.  




            Some challenges I faced while working on this project were creating a time line and budget proposal for the new care team. It is difficult to say how much money I will need to create this new team and if the team will function properly. Unfortunately, the team wont bring revenue to the hospital. But instead, it will decrease the readmission rate for patients who abuse drugs and/or alcohol. This team will hopefully decrease the number of drugs on the streets of Paterson because as more patients seek treatment, there will be less people buying these drugs. The most significant barriers to change will be explaining the purpose of this new team to the stakeholders and hoping they see the same vision. During this course I have learned how to create a strategic plan and explain each step of the process. This material will help with my capstone project because the hospital I work at is in Paterson and the drug population has increased over the years. The hospital would benefit with a liaison to help patient seek treatment.