Epi­demic

The Detroit News - - Nation & World -

of the Wayne County Depart­ment of Health, Veter­ans and Com­mu­nity Well­ness Con­fer­ence of Western Wayne, Growth Works, St. Mary Mercy Livo­nia hospi­tal and 18 local pub­lic safety agen­cies. They have formed a unique pro­gram where the agen­cies col­lab­o­rate.

Of­fi­cials an­nounced the “Res­cue Re­cov­ery” pi­lot pro­gram de­signed to bet­ter treat opi­oid ad­dic­tion and re­duce over­dose deaths.

It is cru­cial to help ad­dicts, es­pe­cially af­ter they ex­pe­ri­ence a mo­ment of clar­ity,

Wayne County Ex­ec­u­tive War­ren Evans said.

“That is when there must be a mech­a­nism in place to deal with it,” he said. “Our job is to help peo­ple, and this is a pro­gram that re­quires all of us to make this hap­pen.”

Evans was flanked by over 25 peo­ple rep­re­sent­ing first re­spon­ders, may­ors of western Wayne County cities and other po­lit­i­cal lead­ers, in­clud­ing state Rep. Laura Cox, R-Livo­nia.

“Usu­ally, when you see mi­cro­phones in front of us, we’re talk­ing about Detroit,” Evans said. “But we’re fo­cused on the 1.7 mil­lion peo­ple who live in Wayne County, not just Detroit.”

The vol­un­tary pro­gram, ad­min­is­tered by Growth Works, is based on spe­cial­ized detox­i­fi­ca­tion known as “Res­cue Re­cov­ery.” When a pub­lic safety of­fi­cer or a St. Mary Mercy Livo­nia staffer iden­ti­fies the need, pa­tients are of­fered peer re­cov­ery coach­ing ser­vices who help avoid re­lapses.

The state’s 2019 fis­cal year bud­get al­lo­cated $500,000 to the Con­fer­ence of Western Wayne to

help fund in­creased spe­cial­ized detox­i­fi­ca­tion ser­vices and $115,000 to Growth Works to help in­crease the num­ber of peer re­cov­ery coaches.

Pa­tients who agree re­ceive ser­vices get an as­signed peer re­cov­ery coach within 90 min­utes and can get ser­vices for up to one year. The coach puts to­gether what are called spe­cific trauma re­duc­ing pro­to­cols that de­velop into a plan af­ter the ad­dict re­cov­ers through the detox­i­fi­ca­tion at St. Mary Mercy Be­hav­ioral Health.

Ser­vices in­clude sub­stance use dis­or­der treat­ment, med­i­cally as­sisted treat­ment sup­port and life skills train­ing, aca­demic/em­ploy­ment sup­port, and 12-step sup­port.

Dear­born Mayor Jack O’Reilly said he knows all too well that the opi­oid epi­demic hits all over.

“There were some peo­ple in Dear­born who didn’t think drugs were an is­sue for them,” O’Reilly told The Detroit News fol­low­ing the press con­fer­ence. “This one (opi­oids) is woe­fully scary. This is a fight for life and I’m re­ally pleased be­cause I think we can make a dif­fer­ence.”

He added, “Our young peo­ple have got­ten trapped and we’ve got to free them.”

Stropes is grate­ful for his re­cov­ery, but ac­knowl­edges that “I am an ad­dict and al­co­holic for the rest of my life.”

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