LCHD Takes Step to Address Opioid Crisis: Press Conference June 27

Above, prescription opioids can be extremely addictive. The LCHD and local officials are working on ways to provide more help to addicts.theYOUjournal.com photo

by Tina Johansson

To announce the expansion of its Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) program for people struggling with opioid addiction, the Lake County Health Department will be hosting a press conference Monday, June 27.

The event will take place at 10 a.m. at the LCHD facility, 3010 Grand Avenue, 3rd floor, Waukegan.

The expansion of MAT is the next step in the effort to address the regional opioid public health crisis which is being led by a number of Lake County organizations. Among them are: the Lake County Opioid Initiative, local law enforcement, LCHD, the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office, Nicasa.

For decades, the MAT program at the Health Department provided methadone and counseling to individuals in treatment to recover from opioid addiction. The recent increase in drug overdoses and rise in opioid related saves occurring in the county, region and nation led to an increased need for response. Through a grant of $325,000 from the Health Resources and Services Administration, the health department is expanding its treatment slots by 100 over the next two years. It is also adding medical provider hours, substance abuse counselors, a licensed clinical social worker, and is providing clients with access to primary care through its community health center system.

Among those speaking on the impact of federal and state policy as well as the local efforts to reduce opioid addtionan trhough treatment will be: Lake County Board of Health President Chief T. E. Sashko; Congressman Robert Dold (10th Dist.); Senator Melinda Bush (31st Dist.); Lake County State’s Attorney Michael G. Nerheim; Lake County Undersheriff Ray Rose; Lake County Board Chairman Aaron Lawlor; and Adam Carson, director of LCHD Strategic Initiatives.

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