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Saturday, January 26, 2019

What does the devastation of the opioid epidemic look like on the ground?

Jan Rader is the fire chief, first responder, and a nurse in Huntington, West Virginia who describes her community's reponse to the opiod epidemic.

Huntington is a county of 95,000 people which, in 2017, experienced 1831 overdoses, and 183 deaths.

Rader describes some innovative programming in her community to deal with substance use disorder which as reached epidemic proportions not only in her county but across the U.S.

 

Editor's note:
I was the executive director of GCASA, the Genesee Council on Alcoholism and Subtance abuse in Genesee and Orleans Counties in Western New York state from 2000 - 2011. I continue to consult with counselors at GCASA who are obtaining psychotherapy superivision hours for their licensure.

The opioid crisis has hit Western New York hard as it has in Huntington. As Chief Rader describes, the deaths and crisis nature of the phenomenon are very difficult for people suffering from substance use disorder as well as their families, friends, and communities.

The opioid epidemic in 2018 created more deaths in the U.S. than car fatalities. It takes a whole community working together with people from multiple sectors to restore our communities back to an acceptable level of public health.

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