A program that uses a unique approach to tackle the heroin and opioid addiction crisis in Wicomico County is having success getting people into treatment, county officials said Thursday.

The Community Outreach Addictions Team, a pilot program spearheaded by the Wicomico County Health Department, uses recovering addicts to work with people who have overdosed, said Lori Brewster, the county’s health officer.

“They have walked the walk and talked the talk,” she said.

The COATS members, who have been in recovery for at least two years, act as a bridge between the person who overdosed and their treatment, which can be as long as three days, Brewster said. Once they are in treatment, the team members keep in touch.