A Brief History:
St. Louis CRUSH (Community Resources United to Stop Heroin) began as simply, CRUSH back in 2011. It was created in partnership with St. Louis County Police Department and St. Louis County Department of Public Health. The coalition was created in order to combat the rise in heroin overdoses that were becoming epidemic in the greater St. Louis area.
As the opioid issue was altered with the ever-changing drug landscape, the coalition had to change and grow in response. We changed from being a hub of information on where to get help, to an outward facing community outreach coalition. By 2019, CRUSH was becoming more involved. The coalition now had members that included St. Louis County Police Department, St. Louis City Police Department, Preferred Family Health Care, Missouri Institute of Mental Health, DEA, Prevent+Ed, HEAL; Stop Heroin, Missouri DOC, St. Louis County Department of Public Health, St. Louis City Public Health, CenterPointe Hospital, Center for Life Solutions, BJC, BHR, Footprints to Recovery, The Aviary, LiUna 110, and more.
We were beginning to utilize marketing tools to educate our public about the opioid problem. We were educating in our school districts, at public forums (like Town Halls), in businesses, anywhere we were invited we were involved. In 2020, despite difficulties with COVID, the coalition continued to grow, and expand it's reach and it's focus. After our large scale community event, The You Are Not Alone Fair (YANA), was postponed due to the pandemic, the coalition came together to find new ways to get the community involved, educated, and provide resource information in areas that were being hit the hardest by overdoses and overdose deaths.
St. Louis CRUSH's Walk n' Talks were born. These smaller, outdoor events allowed the coalition to safely engage with the community to get NARCAN, resources, and treatment into the hands that needed them. We did this by handing out our resource backpacks at no cost to anyone who needed them. The resource bags are filled with covid safety kits, safe sex kits, hygiene kits, can openers, cold weather gear, food, and more; all made available through grant funding and generous donations from our membership partners. In the Spring of 2021, St. Louis CRUSH became an officially recognized Federal 501(c)3.
April 2022 St. Louis CRUSH was able to host our first annual YANA Fair. This fair was created to fill the gaps of understanding regarding Substance Use Disorder. We were able to serve nearly 450 people in North St. Louis.
Looking forward, St. Louis CRUSH is preparing to host our 2nd Annual YANA Fair in South St. Louis (each subsequent fair will be moved around the city and county in the hardest hit areas that need the resources and information the most). We are also teaming up with HEAL; Stop Heroin, Preferred Family Healthcare, and Step Up of St. Louis to bring a Teen Summit to North St. Louis County. Please stay tuned for more!
Det. Melody Quinn
We Would Love to Connect