In 2017, over 1,000 Coloradans died from opioid overdose. Medical professionals are now gaining insight from their communities to address this ongoing crisis. Locally, a coalition is forming around a federal grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration. Jarid Rollins, a licensed clinical social worker doing therapy services for Midvalley Family Practice, comments on this endeavor.
“One of the reasons I believe we got the grant is that we wrote about looking outside of professional organizations and really looking at the community for what they've experienced. Whether that's people in recovery, family members of people in recovery or family members that have lost somebody; we want to hear those stories.”
On Wednesday, August 28, Midvalley Family Practice facilitated a public meeting to gather those stories from individuals who have intimately experienced this issue. Four groups brainstormed four big questions:
1. What keeps people in recovery?
2. How can families help someone in recovery?
3. What is missing in the Roaring Fork Valley for prevention?
4. What is working in the Roaring Fork Valley?
Among the topics that most garnered attention was the lack of transitional support. Individuals in recovery noted that with the price of housing so high in the Roaring Fork Valley, it's a tremendous challenge to work and pay rent while also dedicating time and resources towards treatment and therapy.
The State of Colorado is among many others, including state, local and tribal governments, suing major drug companies like Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of OxyContin. The outcomes of these cases could spell a significant influx of financial support for local treatment efforts. For this coalition, it's imperative that direction comes from the people that have most been ()effected by the crisis.
“I believe that the community is going to have a ton of great ideas that will inform the strategic plan and be able to open the eyes of the professionals so that these aren't just statistics, that these are real people.”
Jarid Rollins will be hosting a series of guests in the coming months to elucidate local recovery options, treatment strategies and ideas for prevention on KDNK's airwaves.