Town Hall Meeting: Addressing Addiction
I. Welcome - Barbara Lee VanHorrsen
II. Mental Illness Task Force Update - Barbara Lee VanHorrsen
a. Current Support Groups Running: Parents/Guardians of Pre-teens and Teenagers & Family Members, Caregivers and Loved Ones of Individuals with Mental Illness
b. Training's: Continue to promote QPR Training and Mental Health First Aid
c. Momentum Center for Social Engagement: Open and running
III. Panel Presentation with Q & A
a. Sergeant Derek Gerencer: Spent 12 years in sheriff’s office and was undercover for 2.5 years. Throughout his 6 years of working for Grand Haven, saw more narcotic cases than anything else (along with cigarettes, marijuana, prescription pills). the issue of prescription pills is spread all over the county. Drug dealers are taking advantage of people who have addiction problems. Some proactive measures being taken include: education on substance abuse, resource officer in every school, mentoring, Raise your voice (high school students go to middle school students, middle school students go to elementary school students) local events with medication drop off points, town hall meetings, grants and NARCAN to every deputy.
b. Jonathon LaMaire: Red Project educates and trains people on how to use the Naloxone kits. Addiction is a disease. We should be looking at approaches of how to handle discipline for those with struggling with addiction. People who are released from jail are 12 times more likely to overdose after being release from jail (due to having a low tolerance). In 2001, Portugal decriminalized drug use when deaths reached 100. Five years later, the decreased the number of deaths to 12.
c. Judge Bunce: Operates the Sobriety Treatment Court Team which gives people the option of seeking treatment for substance use or going to jail. Working on a sobriety kick off in Holland (a team approach to those with addiction). There is a Specialty Court, which is a mental health treatment court in Holland. This program is for people suffering with a mental illness and involved in crime. This programs provides assistance and builds family support. Drug Program is receiving extra funding to make 2 programs (1 drunk driving 3rd offense conviction and other drug additions). There will be more specialized care and it will double the size of how many people they can treat.
d. Dan Qualls: Addiction therapist who began working in the field at an attempt to avoid his addictions. Grew up in addicted family. People with Opioid addiction and who are in treatment, need more than 30 days to detox. The individuals need to be willing to be in a group setting and be involved family during treatment. Therapists need to help create expectations with family members of people with addictions. There is a need for supports for opioid addictions in group therapy.
e. Priscilla Shafor: Works with Adult Drug Court as a recovery coach to help remove barriers in Ottawa county (place to live, mission, job, transportation, healthcare, state ID, driver's license, money, financial issues, legal assistance, etc.). Some people say Alcohol Anonymous is a 12 step concept that is affiliated with religion. Some support groups include: Alcohol Anonymous, Narcotic Anonymous, Couples, Life Recovery and All Recovery. One current issue is with transportation- the Harbor Transit only runs so far and for so long. Helps take participants to medical appointments and legal appointments.
f. Dr. Sandy Dettmann: Works as a Medical Director. Prescriptions are the main cause of addiction- US has 4.4 billion cases with 80-90% opioid distribution. Drug overdose is the leading cause of death in people under the age of 50. There are 82.3% of heroin uses who started with prescriptions. Addiction is a disease. Here is an example of how easy it is to get addicted: 17 year old girl affluent school, parents are judges, honor society, great future, has to get wisdom teeth out, 40 Norco, takes it as directed, child is predisposed to addiction, runs out and keeps refilling the prescription, no more pain so doctor ends prescription, opioid withdrawal, looks for drugs elsewhere, can’t find opioids so starts heroin. The bad decision was listening to the doctor and continuing to take the prescription. Some ways to stop this: doctor's prescribe less, earlier referral to pain management specialist before they come dependent, increase availability of life saving drug (Red Project), teach patients to protect themselves against prescriptions. The cure for addiction involves community, reducing the stigma and finding people to help.
i. How would you direct attorneys to recommend people?
GH attorneys should know about the program, Judge Bunce asks his staff to review all cases to see if someone is appropriate for program, sometimes program is full and can’t accept anymore individuals.
ii. When a patient goes into the doctor's office and notifies of addiction, is there a way to code for prescriptions?
Dr. Dettmann- MAPS (Michigan Automated Prescription System)- identifies any prescriptions or controlled substance patient has received in the past years, need more physicians to use it, code for opioid dependencies, alcohol dependencies
iii.Is there a way for someone in jail to go through sobriety court?
If they are awaiting a sentence, you can bring it to their probation officer. If filling a sentence, there is no lawful right to change the sentence, would need to wait.
IV. Small Group
a. Myths and stereotypes about addiction:
You can stop it yourself, they are fulfilling a need and they are good people, it’s a lifestyle, they can stop at any time
b. Role of Addiction in your life
c. What is being done/needs to be done?
Employment, transportation, sober living houses
V. What Needs to be done?
o Living space
o GH shelter- Love in Action, Harbor Hall
o Paying Court- Collections program, volunteer service
o Reintroduce education in schools- TeaM (teaching educating and mentoring in schools) internet safety, home safety, incoming freshman to do orientation w/ parents, Talk Sooner
o Support groups in GH area (Non-AA) à SMART Recovery, Online 12-step program
o Transportation to support groups/resources/jobs/court
o Drug Treatment court- Expanding to 55 participants
o Ottawa County detox places
o Walk in facilities/angels program, OAR
o Continual trainings/mental health first aid- Continue town hall meetings, qpr, etc
o Momentum Center- Will host support groups
o Sobriety houses- houses in Holland
o Employment options
o Alternative holistic medicine
o Parent education
o Limited programs for immediate Inpatient/outpatient-Holland
o Peer to peer support specialists
o Enabler Education