Game Changer on Tap for Huntington Drug Plague

Updated 1 year ago by Tony E. Rutherford, News Editor

A triage center which will assist addicts in completing drug rehabilitation has been proposed for Huntington, according to Jim Johnson, executive director of the Mayor's Office for Drug Control Policy.

"We have 10,000 people addicted to opiates," explained Johnson to the Public Safety Committee of Huntington City Council Saturday, March 4. Other cities have higher concentrations of addicted, too. But, unlike Huntington, they do not have reliable data to document the number of people on drugs.

However, once an addict is revived following an overdose, Huntington , like other communities, has no beds available. As council member Tonia K. Paige observed, repeated injections of Narcam do not solve the issue. The addict goes out an shoots up again.

"Until we have someplace to put them, it's not going to work," referring to lowering the number of addicts and returning them to useful citizens.

Under the program administered through private foundations and grant money would allow professionals to quickly follow up i.e. within days of treating an OD. They would encourage the addicted to seek treatment.

Johnson described the assertive follow up as partially compensating for the "we don't have a bed tonight" circumstances of most communities.

Numerous agencies will participate in the programs.

In addition, the program allows for treatment of inmates at the jail who, as of now, do not receive any intervention while serving their sentence.

The Public Safety forwarded all matters with a favorable recommendation to the full council. No money will come from the general fund.



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