Roanoke's New First Responders to Overdose Calls: People in Addiction Recovery

The Roanoke Valley Collective Response is hiring three peer recovery specialists who will respond to calls with police and paramedics.

The drug Narcan reverses opioid overdoses. A new peer recovery specialist network will connect overdose victims with resources. ROANOKE RAMBLER FILE PHOTO

When Roanoke police and paramedics respond to overdose calls, they will soon be joined by experts in the field: people who are in recovery from addiction.

The Roanoke Valley Collective Response, a coalition aimed at curbing the opioid and drug epidemic, says it will hire three peer recovery specialists who will help connect victims of overdoses to resources and treatment.

“We're asking police officers to be mental health workers and social workers and that's not their job, and it's an added burden to their already full plate,” Niles Comer, director of the Collective Response, said in an interview.