Community-based overdose response networks

Technology Grant for Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution (OEND) Programs

Executive Summary:

Trek Medics is offering grant support of up to $50,000 in funding to overdose education and naloxone distribution (OEND) programs seeking to save lives by connecting witnesses to opioid overdoses with nearby laypersons carrying naloxone in emergencies by mobile phone.

Eligibility Criteria: Successful grantees are expected to be involved with active naloxone training and distribution programs, including but not limited to:

  • Public health departments
  • Mental health workers
  • Substance abuse clinic staff
  • Fire departments, EMS agencies and police departments
  • Social workers
  • Harm Reduction Community
  • Methadone clinics
  • Clean Syringe Exchanges
  • Safe Injection Sites
  • Survivor/Family networks
  • Narcotics Anonymous
  • Librarians
  • Pharmacies


Oct. 7, 2019 – Community Responders in Puerto Rico Reverse Opioid Overdoses with Naloxone and Simple Text Message Alerts Read more


What about the safety risks for good Samaritans responding to opioid overdoses? Read more


We believe that all fatal opioid overdoses can be prevented. The biggest challenge  to achieving this is access to the life-saving overdose antidote, naloxone (also known as Narcan).

Our goal is to reduce the number of fatal overdoses due to oxycodone, fentanyl, heroin and other opioids to zero by improving access to naloxone during emergencies through improved mobile phone communications.

It is estimated that 75% or more of all opioid overdoses are witnessed[i]. Fortunately, a substantial and growing body of scientific research has shown that naloxone represents a very promising community-based public health intervention to prevent premature death and disability[ii],[iii]. This innovation is similar in scope to cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), automatic external defibrillators (AED), tourniquets and epinephrine auto-injectors such as the EpiPen.

Although naloxone is increasingly available and carried in communities across North America, the only way for witnesses of opioid overdoses to call for help is typically through traditional 9-1-1 response -– an option that isn’t always available or favorable in communities with long response times or other challenges to conventional dispatch. Someone with the life-saving opioid antagonist drug may be right around the corner.

We believe that layperson responders equipped with naloxone can reduce the time interval between the onset of a life-threatening opioid overdose and the delivery of life-saving care to the victim. This can be accomplished by increasing the availability of responders equipped with naloxone among the general public, alongside the coordination of their response efforts through strong community organizations equipped with improved mobile communications systems.

This approach has the potential to avert thousands of overdose-related fatalities each year through an innovative community-based approach. Allied agencies and organizations could ultimately eradicate fatal opioid overdoses while creating direct pathways for persons with opioid use disorder (OUD) to begin receiving necessary treatment.

Grant Purpose: To improve the communications capabilities of community-based overdose response networks through mobile technologies designed specifically for local deployment

Grant Objectives:

Within three months, support provided to grantees will help them to:

  1. Increase the number of community responders able to respond to opioid overdoses
  2. Reduce response times to opioid overdoses
  3. Reduce the number of fatal opioid overdoses
  4. Create a pivotal moment for intervention in getting persons with OUD into long-term treatment
  5. Lay the foundation for further innovation to ultimately prevent any opioid overdoses from resulting in death.

Grant Activities: Successful grantees will be expected to carry out the following activities:

  • Complete the technology training
  • Complete live technology simulations
  • Use the technology to respond to overdoses and administer naloxone
  • Participate in ongoing quality improvement efforts

Award: Successful grantees will be eligible for up to $50,000 in funding, dispersed over 12 months, based on the following criteria:

  • Number of active responders
  • Size of the coverage area
  • Number of overdoses attended
  • Technology needs

How to Apply: Send your application to [email protected] with the subject, “Technology Grant Application – [Insert Organization Name]”, and include the following information:

  • Organization name, address, and contact info
  • Personnel – Number of community responders
  • Coverage area
  • Organizational experience
  • Organizational goals
  • Incorporation status
  • Website and/or social media links

Application Timeline:

  • Applications are submitted
  • Applications are reviewed and candidates interviewed
  • Successful awardees will be notified
  • Grant terms will be discussed and agreed to
  • Grant funds will begin to be distributed monthly

About Trek Medics:

Trek Medics International is a 501(c)3-registered nonprofit, nongovernmental organization that improves emergency response networks through innovative mobile phone technologies, specifically through the Beacon dispatch software, a text message-based emergency dispatching platform designed for community-based response networks. To learn more about Trek Medics’ approach to opioid overdose response, click here.

This program has been supported by generous grants from Purdue Pharma L.P. and AmeriSource Bergen

[i] Strang, J. Death matters: understanding heroin/opiate overdose risk and testing potential to prevent deaths. Addiction. 110(S2), 27-35.
[ii] Walley A.Y., Xuan Z., Hackman H.H., Quinn E., Doe-Simkins M., Sorensen-Alawad A., Ruiz S., Ozonoff A. Opioid overdose rates and implementation of overdose education and nasal naloxone distribution in Massachusetts: interrupted time series analysis. British Medical Journal, 2013 Jan 30;346:f174.
[iii] Bird S.M., McAuley A., Perry S., Hunter C. Effectiveness of Scotland’s National Naloxone Programme for reducing opioid-related deaths: a before (2006–10) versus after (2011–13) comparison. Addiction, 2016; 111(5):883–91.

Need More Information?

Please send us an email if you have any questions or would like to find out if your organization qualifies.

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Beacon emergency dispatch is a cloud-based, do-it-yourself platform for emergency services that alerts, coordinates and tracks prehospital personnel using any mobile phone, with or without internet.

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