"Recovery is a process, not an event"
A recent study by the Stanford University School of Medicine found that about half of the people who arrive in the emergency department for opioid overdoses end up admitted to the hospital —costing, on average, roughly $30,000 per patient admitted.  These costs are often recurring, rarely reimbursed, and far from exceptiona.  In general, people with anysubstance-abuse disorder are hospitalized 2.2 times more often than those who abstain from substance use, and their hospital costs are 2.8 times higher than average. 
But this isn’t about cost reduction. This is about recovery.
Substance abuse—from alcohol to prescription drugs—has become an everyday tragedy, throughout the U.S. and here in Michigan. In the emergency room you’re encountering a person on the worst day of their life. Our Peer Recovery Coaches are here to help you help those individuals move past that day, into recovery, and toward lasting self-sufficiency.
CARE Emergency Support and Substance Abuse Recovery
CARE currently works with emergency departments at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital, Ascension Macomb-Oakland Hospital, McLaren Macomb Hospital, and Ascension St. John Hospital (Moross). In a given year, these hospitals refer more than 2000 individuals to CARE’s Recovery United team of peer recovery coaches. Nearly seventy percent (70%) of those referred agree to an initial screening assessment from a peer recovery coach.
Almost ninety percent (90%) of individuals referred by emergency departments are “high risk” users (their frequency and degree of substance use poses a high risk of psychological or physical harm to them). The majority of “high risk” individuals we assess request follow-up services. One in three people successfully engage with at least one recovery program or service after leaving the hospital. Nearly forty percent (40%) request admission to a residential treatment program. The remainder chose to use outpatient services, detox, community based recovery services (like a 12-step program), or continue to work with their Recovery United coach. They leave the ER and make progress.
What Does CARE Emergency Substance Abuse Support Look Like?
No one has to do this alone. CARE of Southeastern Michigan connects individuals and organizations with whole communities of people in recovery. CARE embraces the SBIRT Model (screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment). This comprehensive public-health approach allows us to coordinate care and address an individual’s substance use, even when they are not yet actively seeking an intervention or treatment.
Each person served by CARE is matched with an individual Peer Recovery Coach through CARE’s Recovery United program. These certified peer recovery coaches each have at least three years in recovery. They undergo extensive training on addiction, recovery assistance, assessment, and motivational interviewing techniques. They are also intimately familiar with the resources available to those struggling with substance abuse and other challenges. Most importantly, coaches capitalize on their own lived experience to authentically (and persuasively):
- promote harm-reduction practices
- educate individuals about the risks associated with their substance misuse and abuse
- help individuals formulate and enact their own individual recovery plan
At CARE we believe there are multiple paths to recovery. This could include traditional 12-step programs, or medication-assisted treatment, or a faith-based program–or something completely different. What matters is that each coach is absolutely committed to the individual path to recovery a person has chosen. Coaches provide the encouragement, support, and tools a person needs to move toward self-sufficiency.