Governor’s adviser hears local issues impacting substance misuse fight

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Douglas Huntsinger, the state's executive director for drug prevention, treatment and enforcement, speaks with Kory George, the chief probation officer for Wayne County, following a Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021, roundtable at Richmond State Hospital.

RICHMOND, Ind. — The COVID-19 pandemic not solely sickens and kills Wayne County residents, it causes isolation that creates disconnect and loneliness.

That exacerbates an epidemic that struck the county lengthy earlier than COVID’s March 2020 arrival: substance misuse.

Christine Stinson, government director of the Wayne County Well being Division, stated she thinks there’s a hyperlink between COVID and native drug overdose deaths. There have been 29 confirmed overdose deaths with 11 extra deaths pending toxicology affirmation they occurred due to overdoses, she stated Tuesday throughout a roundtable dialogue with Gov. Eric Holcomb’s high substance use coverage adviser.

“Throughout COVID, we’re seeing a rise in overdose deaths in Wayne County proper now,” Stinson stated.

State Rep. Brad Barrett, a Richmond Republican who represents District 56, stated whereas COVID attracts the eye on the macro stage, Tuesday’s dialogue concerned these listening to substance use on the micro stage. He stated Douglas Huntsinger, the state’s government director for drug prevention, remedy and enforcement and chairman of the Indiana Fee to Fight Drug Abuse, requested Barrett to host the roundtable.

Barrett stated that he has labored carefully with Huntsinger’s crew on substance-related points. Huntsinger, regardless of an arrival delayed by an Interstate 70 accident, met with Barrett, State Sen. Jeff Raatz and 10 folks concerned in combating substance use domestically.

State Rep. Brad Barrett (left) hosted a roundtable discussion Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021, with local stakeholders and Douglas Huntsinger, the state's executive director for drug prevention, treatment and enforcement.

“During the last 4 years, we spent loads of time constructing a statewide infrastructure that actually focuses on the entire particular person, that works to make sure that we’re shifting folks by means of the complete continuum not simply with remedy however making certain that we’re shifting people into restoration and the way we assist them in that restoration,” Huntsinger stated. “if we’re not serving to them maintain their restoration, all we’re doing is simply persevering with to create that remedy churn.”

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