Middletown hospital reports fewer overdose patients. Here’s why they think that number is down.

Taking an active, rather than passive, approach with people is one reason heroin overdoses have dropped in Middletown, officials say.

The number of heroin overdoses in Middletown has dropped this month, continuing a trend throughout the year, according to Middletown Police Maj. David Birk.

One of the reasons for that drop may be the works Atrium Medical Center and the city’s Heroin Response Team have been doing together.

The Middletown hospital asks those being treated for an overdose if their medical information can be shared with the city’s Heroin Response Team, said Tina Gregory, director of the hospital’s emergency, trauma and maternity services.

MORE: Middletown fire captain's work with Heroin Response Team earns him First Responder of the Year award 

The Heroin Response Team is made up of a paramedic, a police officer, and a drug addiction counselor who visit people who had overdosed and guide them into the health care system to receive the counseling and treatment needed to defeat their addiction.

Gregory said the Heroin Response Team has met with patients while they are still in the emergency room. She called those instances “very good windows of opportunity” because the patients are willing to seek help and treatment options.

Atrium also is seeing a drop in people needing treatment for heroin overdoses, Gregory said.

At the “height” of the overdoses, the hospital treated four to seven patients a day, she said. Now, she said, the hospital is treating about four overdoses per week.

Gregory credited “a huge community response” for that drop.

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