Crisis Outreach with Drug Abusers: Utilizing the Emergency Medical System

  • Steven B. Robbins
  • Michael D. Decaria


The Emergency Medical System (EMS) comes into contact with a multitude of substance abusers. Emergency rooms frequently serve as “family doctors” for drug abusers who seek health care when in crisis. Paramedic and ambulance personnel make initial contact with drug abusers experiencing both medical and psychological crisis. Because substance abusers in crisis are prone to considering alternative behaviors, the EMS, if appropriately utilized, can become a fertile referral source for drug treatment programs. Emergency medical system personnel have been found to be resistant to facilitating a linkage between drug treatment staff and substance abusers unless given adequate training with regard to the importance of psychotherapeutic crisis intervention and referral counseling.


Substance Abuser Drug Abuse Treatment Drug Abuser Community Mental Health Center Crisis Intervention 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven B. Robbins
    • 1
  • Michael D. Decaria
    • 1
  1. 1.Drug Referral CenterUSA

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