News Flash Home
The original item was published from 8/14/2023 10:46:33 AM to 8/14/2023 10:47:29 AM.

News Flash

General News

Posted on: August 14, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Baton Rouge Advances in Battle Against Opioid Crisis: When You Are Ready Program Champions Recovery

Baton Rouge, LA – August 14, 2023 – East Baton Rouge Parish is making headway as its leaders and substance abuse experts tackle the nationwide opioid and fentanyl crisis. Set Free Indeed Ministry's flagship program, "When You Are Ready," has been pivotal in mitigating drug overdoses and championing addiction recovery efforts in East Baton Rouge Parish. Initiated two and a half years ago, this program has fostered collaborations with local leaders, behavioral health providers, businesses, churches and community organizations. 

The "When You Are Ready" team, informed by and equipped with relevant overdose data provided by the DA’s Crime Strategies Unit, routinely visits locations, businesses, and neighborhoods most affected by overdoses. The team offers peer support outreach, dispenses printed and digital materials about treatment resources, distributes Narcan medication, and provides fentanyl testing strips.

The program is spearheaded by Tonja Myles and her team of eight Peer Support Specialists, most of whom are recovering addicts and have family members who struggle with addiction. The team has visited over 870 locations in or around overdose “hot spots,” interacting with about 300 people per month, about a third of whom have substance abuse and mental health issues. To date, the program has distributed 1,245 life-saving Narcan kits, 500 fentanyl strips, over 16,000 printed materials with treatment and recovery resources, and connected with more than 3,000 individuals battling addiction.

"As we review the data and witness the impact of the opioid crisis on our community, it's evident that strategic collaboration and evidence-based interventions are making a difference. Our focus is clear: to prioritize the health and safety of our residents,” said Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome. “Baton Rouge is committed to leveraging every resource and partnership, like the 'When You Are Ready' initiative, to address this challenge head-on. Together, we are paving a path towards a healthier, safer community for all."

Set Free Indeed Ministry is now planning to roll out a new initiative, "Peers on Point," in collaboration with the Baton Rouge Police Department. In the wake of an overdose incident, the "Peers On Point" team will promptly provide on-site support to the affected individuals and their families.

"Peers On Point" will offer immediate transport to treatment centers for those struggling with addiction. Should treatment be declined, recovery resources, Narcan medication, and fentanyl strips will be provided, ensuring every feasible effort is made to preserve lives.

Tonja Myles, the driving force behind this initiative, leverages her military background to run the operation with remarkable precision, efficacy, and empathy. They have generously shared their expertise by training and providing resources to other nonprofit and community groups across the parish.

For further details about the 'When You Are Ready' program, visit www.whenyouarereadybr.com.

The City-Parish will be receiving a total of $29,867,500.00 over the course of 18 years to implement state approved, evidence based abatement strategies to educate and treat persons with opioid use disorder, as part of the national opioid settlement. The City-Parish received an initial distribution of $3,050,658.34 to implement strategies approved for the State of Louisiana.

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in General News

City-Parish Offices Reopen Wednesday

Posted on: January 16, 2024

EBR Parish Roads Reopened

Posted on: January 16, 2024

Trick-or-Treat Hours

Posted on: October 31, 2023

City-Parish Services for Labor Day Holiday

Posted on: September 1, 2023

Memorial Day

Posted on: May 26, 2023

Garbage Collection May Have Delays

Posted on: March 1, 2023

City-Parish Closure

Posted on: December 13, 2022

East Baton Rouge Public Safety Partnership

Posted on: November 30, 2022

Voter Registration Week September 19-23

Posted on: September 9, 2022

Solutions Town Hall Panel

Posted on: June 3, 2022

Domestic Violence Partnering Panel

Posted on: April 18, 2022

Holiday Closures Schedule

Posted on: December 30, 2021

Former Councilman Donates PPE

Posted on: December 28, 2021

Recycling Services to Resume Thursday

Posted on: September 8, 2021

Recycling Services Suspended

Posted on: September 7, 2021

Open Data BR Datasets Delve into Budget

Posted on: February 11, 2021

Voter Registration Week Sept. 21-25

Posted on: September 18, 2020

City-Parish Services for Labor Day Holiday

Posted on: September 4, 2020

Geaux Get Tested is Back

Posted on: September 2, 2020

East Baton Rouge Head Start program

Posted on: August 25, 2020

Baton Rouge City Court Closure

Posted on: March 20, 2020

Free Tax Preparation Available

Posted on: January 31, 2020

City-Parish closing shelter

Posted on: July 14, 2019

Food Distribution Schedule Announced

Posted on: April 4, 2019

Food Distribution Schedule Announced

Posted on: December 17, 2018

New Online Application Process

Posted on: September 20, 2018