Health of­fi­cer gives up­date on opi­oid re­sponse

Sunday Star - - LOCAL - By CON­NIE CON­NOLLY cconnolly@ches­pub.com Fol­low me on Twit­ter @con­nie_s­tar­dem.

— An opi­oid over­dose res­cue demon­stra­tion was part of Talbot County Health Of­fi­cer Dr. Fre­dia Wadley’s re­port to the Talbot County Coun­cil at its Tues­day, Sept. 26, meet­ing.

Wadley gave a nax­olone train­ing demon­stra­tion that the health de­part­ment of­fers to in­ter­ested parties and pro­vided statis­tics about the opi­oid cri­sis in Mary­land. Nax­olone, known com­monly by its trade name Nar­can, is an opi­oid blocker.

She also up­dated the coun­cil on fund­ing, projects and pri­or­i­ties in the ef­fort to pro­vide preven­tion ed­u­ca­tion and treat­ment for sub­stance abuse in the county.

Wadley said Septem­ber is Na­tional Re­cov­ery Month, but she be­gan her re­port with grim statis­tics of opi­oid over­dose deaths. Of the 2,089 over­dose deaths in Mary­land last year, 10 were in Talbot County, Wadley said. By the end 0f 2017, 2,500 or more opi­oid over­dose deaths are ex­pected in Mary­land.

Dur­ing the first seven months of 2017, Univer­sity of Mary­land Shore Re­gional Health re­ported 98 over­dose in­ci­dents that came into its emer­gency fa­cil­i­ties, 23 of whom were Talbot County res­i­dents.

Wadley said re­cov­ery beds will ac­count for half of the nearly $80,000 in state fund­ing for Talbot County’s ef­forts to stem the opi­oid cri­sis. The other half is de­voted to preven­tion ef­forts as de­ter­mined by the county’s Opi­oid In­ter­ven­tion Team Plan.

In July, Mary­land’s Opi­oid Op­er­a­tional Com­mand Cen­ter, De­part­ment of Health and the Gover­nor’s Of­fice of Crime Con­trol & Preven­tion an­nounced more than $22 mil­lion to fight the heroin and opi­oid epi­demic.

Three pri­or­i­ties are des­ig­nated for the $40,000 in re­cov­ery beds, Wadley said. Beds will be as­signed to “those com­ing out of the de­ten­tion cen­ter ..., those in­volved in the prob­lem-solv­ing court and those who have been in detox­i­fi­ca­tion,” she said.

The health de­part­ment has con­tracts with all the re­cov­ery houses in Talbot County and with some out­side the county.

How­ever, “the big­gest prob­lem still in Talbot County with ad­dic­tion is we do not have enough providers to give treat­ment as rapidly as we would like,” Wadley said.

Since her last re­port to the coun­cil, Wadley said, “Mid Shore Be­hav­ioral Health Inc., to­gether with the five Mid-Shore coun­ties, put in a pro­posal, and they did win $277,000 for cri­sis beds.”

The same or­ga­ni­za­tion also put in a pro­posal for cri­sis ser­vices, and is ask­ing for en­hance­ment of area mo­bile cri­sis teams, both for men­tal health and sub­stance abuse, ex­pan­sion of the cri­sis line and for es­tab­lish­ing safe sta­tions, es­pe­cially at least one for Talbot County “to see how that might work,” Wadley said.

Wadley said early in­ter­ven­tion for chil­dren and ado­les­cents and pro­vid­ing them with be­hav­ioral heath ser­vices was in­ad­e­quate.

“We do have a good school­based pro­gram: Eastern Shore Psy­cho­log­i­cal has providers go­ing into the school (with a pro­gram) that doesn’t cost the school any­thing,” she said.

An­other suc­cess­ful project funded by a grant for 17 years peaked at 90 chil­dren with be­hav­ioral prob­lems, “but the grant went away,” Wadley said. “Chan­nel Marker has been able to main­tain the pro­gram with two donors for the eight or nine years since the grant went away but has only been able to serve 30 chil­dren.”

Wadley said ef­forts are be­ing made to de­ter­mine how more providers for chil­dren’s be­hav­ioral health can be brought on board.

The health de­part­ment also is work­ing on preven­tion ser­vices, such as ed­u­cat­ing the pub­lic about stor­age and dis­posal of med­i­ca­tions; pro­vid­ing nax­olone train­ing, which it has be­gun do­ing for busi­nesses like restau­rants and bars; and pro­vid­ing care co­or­di­na­tion ser­vices, from get­ting peo­ple into treat­ment, as well as when they’re com­ing out of de­tox into a re­cov­ery bed and hous­ing.

Wadley con­cluded her re­port with the nax­olone train­ing demon­stra­tion. Those in­ter­ested in get­ting train­ing should call the Talbot County Health De­part­ment at 410-819-5600 and ask for Alexan­dra Duff.

PHOTO BY CON­NIE CON­NOLLY

At the Sept. 26 meet­ing of the Talbot County Coun­cil, Talbot County Health Of­fi­cer Dr. Fre­dia Wadley demon­strates nax­olone, also known by its trade name Nar­can, is ad­min­is­tered to an opi­oid over­dose vic­tim.

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