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Houston Emergency Opioid Engagement System (HEROES)

General Information

What We Offer

The HEROES program is designed for individuals seeking long-term recovery from opioid use disorder. We provide the following set of clinical and behavioral services at no cost in our program.

  • Initial screening by a nurse practitioner
  • Physician appointment to discuss medication-assisted treatment options
  • Same day Rx where medically necessary*
  • Assistance setting up long term treatment
  • Licensed Chemical Dependency Counseling
  • Peer Recovery Coaching
  • Peer Facilitated Support Groups
  • Recovery tracking mobile app
  • Counselor Facilitated Educational Support Groups
  • Recognition for milestones in recovery
  • Peer Recovery Coaching

*While the services provided by HEROES are provided free of charge, participants are required to pay for any prescriptions either with insurance or out of pocket.

Participant eligibility includes adults over 18 years with history of prior opioid-related overdose or opioid use disorder. At this time, we are only able to assist English speaking patients.


Houston sees one opioid related death every 32 hours as opioid related death rates continue to rise in Texas and across the country. Houston Police and Fire departments receive between 50-100 reports of opioid overdoses monthly, and of those about 1 of every 3 or 4 are fatal.

The Emergency Medical System – either 911 or in the ER – is often the first point of care when persons living with opioid use disorder are in crisis. These moments are critical in providing treatment and recovery resources to patients seeking help. We aim to provide comprehensive services to keep patients in treatment and recovery. We help connect patients to ongoing medicated assisted treatment, behavioral therapy, peer recovery coaching, and support groups.

The Houston ER Opioid System (HEROES) is a joint initiative between the McGovern Medical School and the School of Biomedical Informatics at University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston. We aim to assist patients navigate the complex recovery journey by incorporating medical and behavioral support services for optimum engagement and retention in outpatient treatment. We currently have over 300 patients enrolled in our cohort.

Program Description

The purpose of this study is to identify the prevalence of opioid use disorder and opioid-related overdoses across Southeast Texas, and to develop a comprehensive care coordination system to improve retention of patients in long-term treatment. We will help patients engage in treatment, recovery, and follow-up to improve their chances of long-term recovery and improved quality of life. Our program involves novel medication in the emergency department, follow-up from licensed emergency medical technicians, outpatient medication-assisted treatment, and ongoing recovery coaching. Our program is funded by an award from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, through the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) targeted opioid response program.


    Team Members
    Dr. James Langabeer, PhD Dr. James Langabeer


    Dr. Tiffany Champagne Langabeer, PhD Dr. Tiffany Champagne Langabeer
    PhD, MBA, RD


    Simone Lee Joannou Simone Lee Joannou

    Research Coordinator

    Andrea Yatsco Andrea Yatsco

    Associate Director

    Click Here: View More HEROES Team Members

    This comprehensive system of care involves participation with emergency physicians, psychiatrists, emergency medical technicians (EMT), licensed professional counselors, certified recovery specialists, pharmacists, police and fire departments.

    Some of our partners include:

    Houston Emergency Medicine Heroes Houston Emergency Opioid Engagement System
    Texas Health and Human Services Houston Recovery Center Houston Fire Department

Latest News & Media from HEROES

HEROES Intervention

The role of recovery coaches at HEROES

What we offer at HEROES