Eric Reed, BS

The MetroHealth System

“Utilization and Efficacy of Novel Emergency Department Based Peer Recovery Coach Program to Combat Substance Use Disorder”
SAEMF/RAMS Medical Student Research Grant




Opioid overdose has been the leading cause of accidental death in Ohio since 2007. Ohio ranked second in the nation for overdose (OD) deaths in 2016, largely driven by increases in fentanyl related OD. The emergency department (ED) is frequently the primary point of entry into the health care system for patients with opioid use disorder (OUD), who present with multiple problems including acute OD, opioid withdrawal, and the medical and psychiatric complications of OUD. Emergency medicine has been on the forefront of developing innovative approaches to confront the opioid epidemic, from providing take-home naloxone to at-risk patients and initiating OUD treatment with buprenorphine to community opioid educational programs and is well-positioned to help those with OUD reach treatment. ED-based peer support and recovery programs (ED-PSRP) with real-time linkage to treatment are a novel approach to provide support and facilitate treatment for this population. The MetroHealth System has initiated a multi-site, system-wide EDPSRP, Ascent ED, to link those with OUD to appropriate treatment centers.

The research objectives of this proposal are to 1) rigorously evaluate the efficacy of an ED-PSRP for secondary prevention of fatal or nonfatal opioid OD and 2) determine the efficacy of an EDPSRP with the addition of two parallel interventions: Medication Assisted Treatment and a longitudinal peer recovery coach compared to ED-PSRP alone on the prevention of opioid OD. Our overall hypothesis is that patients who engage in an ED-PSRP, particularly those who are referred for treatment from the ED, will enter and maintain OUD treatment and thereby have a decreased incidence of subsequent opioid OD.

The opioid crisis is ubiquitous, affecting all communities, spanning all ages, and crossing all socioeconomic boundaries. Our investigative team has a unique opportunity to determine the efficacy of an extremely novel peer recovery coach and referral program on OUD. If successful, this program stands to serve as a model for hospitals across the nation to better treat OUD, and could provide a new approach to prevent opioid overdose.

Research Results

Dr. Reed is still completing the project.