Over 160 people turned out Thursday in Marion for a discussion of how communities can play a role in helping solve the opioid and substance abuse crisis.
Centerstone's vice president of addiction services Scott Hesseltine was the keynote speaker. He says treatment is just one component of the process.
"Critical success factors like safe and structured housing, evidence-based treatment services of course and also the dignity of work, working with employers that are supportive of recovery and the needs of individuals who are in recovery."
Hesseltine says those receiving help are generally more productive than their counterparts.
"We know nationally $400 billion in lost productivity can be tied to opioid use disorder and substance use disorder. Individuals that are employed that are in recovery are 10% more likely to be in good attendance than the general population, so you have better attendance and less absenteeism. You have 8% less turnover."
He says this can be done in this area, even with its limited resources.
"There was a lot of discussion today about innovative collaborations and there was talk about the next steps, developing a task force or regional workforce focusing specifically on this issue."
Hesseltine says the next steps will ideally target individual communities and businesses.