Thursday, September 8, 2016

Understanding the Local Addiction to Opioids: Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse- Allegany County Releases Opioid and Heroin Survey

The abuse of and addiction to opioids such as heroin, morphine, and prescription pain relievers is a serious problem that does not discriminate and negatively impacts rural, suburban and urban communities’ health, social, and economic wellbeing.  
Recognizing that addiction impacts not only those who are currently using, but also affects individuals in recovery, family members, friends, and our community at-large; the Allegany County Legislator’s Heroin and Opioid Sub-Committee and Ardent Solutions, Inc., are partnering to learn more about the problem at a local level. 
To address the complex problem of prescription opioid and heroin abuse in Allegany County, Ardent Solutions, Inc., volunteered its services to research and create a strategic plan for those wishing to influence the current opioid and heroin crisis. The strategic plan will include a summary of the state and federal legislation landscape, an asset map of available services for prevention, treatment, recovery and enforcement; and local data analysis that provides a snapshot of the opioid and heroin issue. In addition, Ardent Solutions’ is reaching out to individuals who are currently using or abusing opioids or heroin, those who are in recovery, family member and friends of someone who has had or has an addiction, and concerned community members.
The Strategic Planning Community Engagement Sub-Committee felt that it is vital to hear directly from those impacted by the opioid and heroin crisis. We are asking everyone to visit, and take a brief, anonymous survey. The survey will be available through the end of September 2016.
The results of the survey will shed light on the strengths and weaknesses of the current care in Allegany County; like treatment access issues, recovery support needs, opportunities to better engage those who use or abuse opioids or heroin into treatment, and how to prevent others from experiencing this burden. Each person who participates in the Allegany County Opioid and Heroin Needs Survey, will help guide the Strategic Plan. After completing the survey, individuals who would like to provide further input are invited to share their contact information and I will reach out to schedule an interview. Any information shared will be kept confidential.