Local delegation hopes to learn — and teach — at nation drug abuse summit

The first time Northampton Police Officer Adam Van Buskirk participated in the RX Drug Abuse & Heroin Summittwo years ago, he returned to NPD and kicked the city’s Drug Addiction and Recovery Team into high gear.

Known as the DART program — and now replicated in almost all Hampshire County police departments — DART sends teams of police, harm reduction educators, and recovery coaches out to visit with people who have recently survived an opioid overdose. Their primary goal is to talk and build relationships.

They don’t force treatment on to anyone, but they discuss how to use in safer ways, provide people with the overdose-reversal drug Narcan, and offer information about medication assisted treatment.