Thursday, October 01, 2015

Finding solutions to a region's heroin epidemic.

At last week's League of Women Voters debate, incumbent at-large council representative Shirley Baird made an earnest effort to address Southern Indiana's drug problem, but I'm not sure her reference came out as intended. She framed it as a law enforcement issue, and of course that's true, but as most of us realize, it's far more than that.

As this community action plan from Ohio illustrates ...

The Heroin and Opioid Epidemic -- Our Community’s Action Plan


On Nov. 21, 2013, many of Northern Ohio’s leading institutions gathered for a daylong summit in an effort to find solutions to the region’s heroin epidemic. A Community Action Plan was formulated over the course of several planning meetings and finalized during the summit. The purpose of this document is to serve as a guiding master plan as we move forward as a community. The Action Plan is divided into four specific areas: Prevention and Education, Healthcare Policy, Law Enforcement and Treatment. Inevitably, there is some overlap among each of these areas.

A few disclaimers: this document is a working draft and not written in stone. Some of these items are immediately actionable while others will take more time, research and effort. Some of these items have unanimous support among the planners, others do not. Although certain action items cannot be implemented without new legislation, some of the partnering agencies are forbidden from taking a position on pending or potential legislation. The hope is that this Action Plan will serve as a road map and tie together our various efforts toward the same goals – preventing people from using heroin, helping treat those who have become addicted, choking off both the supply of and demand for heroin in Northern Ohio, and working collaboratively to make our region healthier, safer and stronger ...

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