Drug Free Communities - A Community Effort
A noticeable increase in addicted babies born at Reid, coupled with a rise in overdose patients in the region, prompted Reid Health and other community agencies to gather in 2014 to discuss a growing problem with heroin addiction. After a gathering of more than 60 people representing health, law enforcement, education, elected officials, treatment centers and others, the Drug Free Wayne County committee was born with the following mission:
Collaboratively establish an environment that fosters a healthy, drug-free and substance-free life style.
Their challenge is highlighted by alarming stats, including a spike in the number of addicted babies at Reid Health, an increase in crimes to support addiction, more overdoses and more deaths related to heroin.
The group developed subcommittees including:
- Prevention/Education, made up of representatives from education, business, the media, healthcare and the coroner.
- Medication Assisted Treatment, made up of treatment center representatives and physicians.
- Emergency Medical Treatment, Emergency Medical Services, police agencies, and Reid Health Emergency Services.
- And Treatment Options, with representatives of regional mental health and treatment centers, Richmond State Hospital and some elected officials.
The group involves members from Wayne, Fayette and Randolph counties, and also has learned from and shared information with a similar effort in Darke County, Ohio.
Craig Kinyon, Reid Health President/CEO, said Reid Health is making education and support for the effort a priority because of its huge impact on community health. Besides providing the committee a place to meet and other resources, the effort is being assisted through Reid Health Community benefit funds and other ways.
"Education on drugs and addiction for our children must never stop," Kinyon said. "Our most effective weapon in the Drug War is prevention. The only way to stop the flood of addicted babies is to get immediate care for the Mom. Treatment follows Education as our next effective measure to this cause. Without intervening care, the Mom will likely have another addicted baby. Treatment for addicted persons requires significant funding. If we don't address these issues immediately, the costs to our society will be much higher than the costs for treatment. Our community can get behind this effort by contacting our elected officials to encourage more state and federal support for treatment programs."