Community Outreach and Support Team (COAST) Program
Emergency medical services (EMS) staff are often the first to see people after a drug overdose. In 2021, the Division of Fire and Rescue Services of Frederick County, Maryland, launched the Community Outreach and Support Team (COAST) program, in which specially trained community paramedics partner with peer recovery specialists to respond to 9-1-1 calls involving substance use. The team provides emergency treatment including overdose reversal when needed and connects people to substance use disorder treatment and recovery services. Beginning in July 2023, Maryland paramedics will also be able to administer an initial dose of buprenorphine in the field, thanks to a new state law. FORE support will enable training of an additional 125 EMS staff every six months over the grant period, substantially expanding capacity, and will help pay for travel vouchers to reduce transportation-related barriers that hinder people from getting treatment.