(Podcast) Nashville’s Overdose Co-Response Unit Brings Harm Reduction to Law Enforcement

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As the drug overdose deaths continue to climb, we have heard more and more Sheriffs and law enforcement officers across the state say “we can’t arrest ourselves out of this problem.” That the criminal justice system plays an important role, but not the only role. That there are many, many factors in the overdose epidemic.

My guest this month is Sergeant Mike Hotz of Metro Nashville Police Department. After a long stint of time as an undercover officer, Sgt. Hotz now leads the overdose response unit, which combines law enforcement with mental health care and social work to people who have survived an overdose – instead of simply arresting them. The latest service that they are developing is perhaps their most surprising: when appropriate, the team will start the individual on medication assisted treatment…on scene. Sgt Hotz says the success of his team is due to MNPD’s community partners like the Mental Health Co-Op, but overall, because the team is willing and able to do whatever they can for the individual, beyond what just a solo officer is capable of.

Hosted and produced by Jeremy Kourvelas. Original music by Blind House.

Learn more:
MNPD’s Overdose Response Program (and Spike Alert info)