BCARES - Help for Overdose Survivors



B
ucks County Connect. Assess. Refer. Engage. Support (BCARES) is a warm handoff program with the goal of connecting individuals who have overdosed on drugs or alcohol directly from the hospital to drug and alcohol treatment. BCARES is a collaboration with the six hospitals located in Bucks County and assigned Certified Recovery Specialists (CRS). A CRS is a person in long-term recovery who has taken specialized training and passed a certification exam. The CRS will use their lived experience to help other individuals with substance use disorders. Through BCARES, overdose survivors are offered recovery supports, education, resources and a direct connection from the hospital to drug and alcohol treatment. BCARES will also serve any individual with any substance use disorder who is being treated in one of the six Bucks County hospitals.

BCARES enhancements include BCARES Family Connect and Healthcare Professionals Opposing Stigma


Who does BCARES serve?
  • Individuals who have survived an opioid overdose and are in a Bucks County hospital
  • Individuals with any substance use disorder who are in a Bucks County hospital
  • Families and significant others
  • Hospital staff 

How does BCARES work?
BCARES logo

BCARES is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the six Bucks County hospitals. For an overdose survivor, the hospital emergency department will make a referral directly to the CRS. The CRS will meet face-to-face with the person, and will connect them directly to resources, recovery supports and treatment options.  If the person accepts direct treatment from the hospital, the CRS will locate a treatment provider and arrange for transportation.  The CRS will continue to follow-up with the person for 30 days following the overdose.

For overdose survivors, BCARES will serve any individual in a Bucks County hospital, regardless of their county of residence or insurance status.  The Bucks County Drug & Alcohol Commission, Inc. will fund the first 3 days of treatment for an overdose survivor, regardless of their insurance.  Once the individual is in a treatment facility, the facility will explore funding for ongoing treatment.

For individuals who are not overdose survivors, but who do use substances, hospital staff will make a referral to the CRS. The CRS will then meet face-to-face with the person, and will provide recovery support, education, resources and will discuss various treatment options.

The Bensalem Community Response Unit (BCRU) is a specialized response to overdoses that occur in Bensalem and is activated by a 911 call. It is a collaboration between the Bensalem Police Department, Bensalem Emergency Medical Services, Jefferson Torresdale Hospital, The Council of Southeast Pennsylvania, Inc. and Bucks County Drug & Alcohol Commission, Inc.

The BCRU team consists of a Paramedic and a Certified Recovery Specialist (CRS) who respond to overdoses in a specially equipped vehicle. A CRS is a person with lived experience with substance use disorder who is in long-term recovery and has been certified by the Pennsylvania Certification Board after taking required course work. The CRS uses their lived experience and knowledge of resources to provide recovery support, education, resources and treatment options to the person who just survived an overdose. The goal is to make a direct connection from the community or hospital emergency department to drug and alcohol treatment, once the person is medically cleared. 


ContactSheri Rubin, RN, BCDAC, Inc. Health Care Coordinator  |  215-444-2729  |  slrubin@buckscounty.org