Volunteer Operators

Posted 8 months ago

We're there for you when no one else can be!

Do you have experience in Harm Reduction? Do you want to be involved with saving lives? Can you stay calm during an emergency?



This position is a high stress position, and can be traumatic at times. While most calls end safely, you will likely have a call where the caller is overdosing, and all you can do is call for help, and then listen while you wait for the ambulance to arrive. Those calls ARE TRAUMATIC! If you cannot handle high stress, traumatic situations, this probably isn’t the position for you.

We do have mental health professionals that donate their time to help our operators work through traumatic situations, and / or to decompress from high stress calls. While the position isn’t physically demanding at all, it can be EXTREMELY mentally, and emotionally demanding!

As a volunteer operator for NUA, you would be tasked with answering incoming calls from all over the country, to our national overdose prevention line. You stay on the phone with the caller while they use, and just talk with them. If they stop responding after using a substance, you would then call for help to the callers location.

Hours, and availability
There are no designated “shifts”. But, if there are times of the day that you are not available, or you don’t want to be alerted of incoming calls, we can set that up in our system, and your number will be automatically skipped. 

We believe that our callers are most comfortable with operator’s that have “been there”. Therefore, all operators must have lived experience in substance use disorders. 

We believe that people who use drugs are just as valuable as people who do not. With our service, we actually prefer that our operators have experience with drug use.

If you are a current drug user, if you’ve been drinking, or using a substance, and you’re heavily sedated, DO NOT ANSWER ANY CALLS! At least until you’re no longer under the influence of a substance. We can’t have the operator knodding out on the caller.

Automatic Disqualifications
We DO NOT accept applications from anyone that works in a marketing, business development, or outreach coordinator position, for any treatment facility. We will not allow our service to be used as a fishing lure for any treatment center. 

We will not accept any application from anyone that is legally obligated to report possible instances of child neglect, or other assumptions. We cannot accept any application from anyone that is a mandated reporter. Just because a parent uses a substance, does not automatically mean a child is unsafe, or being neglected. We are here to help keep people alive. We are NOT here to add trouble on to someone who’s already struggling. 

So, if you’ve got lived experience in substance use disorders, have harm reduction experience, and can stay calm in the event of an emergency, fill out an application, and we’ll get back to you asap. If your application is accepted, we will contact you for a phone interview, and go from there. 
Thank you for your interest in helping out. We look forward to speaking with you!

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