opioid crisis

The opioid crisis has been receiving a lot of coverage in the national media.  In this feature, we hear the work being done in Hardin county in combating the opioid epidemic.  One key is a new initiative that seeks to spread awareness of the epidemic.

Destini Hutson spent much of her childhood picturing what life would be like when her dad came home.

Over time, her plans turned to the practical: teach him how to use an iPhone, help him find a job, go to Chick-fil-A together.

“‘It’s a lot that you’re going to have to learn,’” Hutson told her dad, Donald, who went to prison in 1997 when she was still a baby.

Those plans came to a halt last September, when Donald Hutson died of a drug overdose at Missouri Eastern Correctional Center in Pacific. He’s one of more than 430 inmates who have overdosed in state prisons since May 2017, according to internal data from the Missouri Department of Corrections. While there are many ways drugs are smuggled into prisons, DOC employees say internal corruption is a key part of the problem.

Centerstone Unveils New Marion Facility

Aug 9, 2019
Steph Whiteside/WSIU

Centerstone unveiled their new medication assisted treatment facility in Marion today. Congressmen Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro) and John Shimkus (R-Collinsville) and State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) were on hand to tour the center.

The MAT facility will be the first of its kind in southern Illinois. It will offer access to three FDA-approved medications used for treating opioid addiction, as well as counseling, case management, peer support, and medical services.

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File

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.

About 15 miles southwest of St. Louis is Fenton City Park. It’s pretty unremarkable, with picnic shelters, softball fields, and flags waving gently from a memorial to fallen soldiers. This is where Kevin Mullane sought refuge as he struggled with an opioid addiction.

Illinois launched its opioid alternative program on Thursday. The program allows patients immediate access to medical cannabis if they have a current prescription for opioids or would have been prescribed one. 

Man holding a sign saying recovery matters
Flickr/Sacred Heart

 

Earlier this year, we covered the difficulties faced by Illinoisans in recovery - especially those who had successfully detoxed, and were hoping to change their lives and stay sober. One of the challenges people faced was finding help getting their lives back on track.

 

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Flickr

Hardin County has become a target county for a federal grant responding to opioid use disorder according to the Family Counseling Center.

Overdose Training at State Fair

Aug 20, 2018
Box of Narcan medication
Steph Whiteside/WSIU

 

This year, the Illinois state fair has everything from fried food to overdose training. 

Health Department officials set up at the fair to teach people about naloxone. The drug can be used to treat opioid overdoses, whether they are from illegal drugs like heroin or an overdose of prescription medication.