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September is National Recovery Month, a time dedicated to celebrating people who have managed to recover from addiction

September is National Recovery Month, a time dedicated to celebrating people who have managed to recover from addiction to alcohol and/or drugs and stress that prevention works, treatment is effective.

Local health community leaders from Crook County Health Department, Lutheran Community Services Northwest and Rimrock Trails intend to once again shine a spotlight on the national month by hosting multiple events. They include a recovery health fair with live music, food vendors and fun events on Wednesday evening at Pioneer Park followed by a candlelight vigil later that evening.

At risk of sounding like a broken record, Crook County faces a growing drug problem, with opioid abuse taking center stage in recent months. Whether it is addiction to prescribed opiates or use of illicit drugs like heroin, local law enforcement will tell you that arrests for heroin-related offenses are on the rise and health officials are trying to find whatever ways they can to reduce the prescription rate of opiate pain medications in favor of other, non-addictive methods of pain management. Meanwhile, medical officials are continuing to deal with overdoses and are urging people to familiarize themselves with Naloxone, an overdose reversal drug to help save lives.

Drug problems are not unique to Crook County. Seemingly all communities face them and much like homelessness, crime or impaired driving, there doesn't appear to be any silver bullet solution or even a group of strategies that will stop it completely.

But this is by no means a reason to stop fighting back against the problem. A recent opioid assessment Crook County Health Department conducted for the community confirms what we already know, that there is a problem, but the data suggests that the problem is not so far gone that it can't be slowed and reversed. As one health department staff member stressed, there is still time to get in front of this.

This takes community awareness and vigilance from an entire community. It takes a belief that such efforts are actually worthwhile and will result in successful outcomes. What better way could there be to reinforce those beliefs than by taking time to celebrate National Recovery Month? Not only do we celebrate those who have successfully battled addiction and encourage them to keep fighting, we remind ourselves that success stories do exist and battling a community drug problem is not an exercise in futility.

We encourage our readers to stop by the Recovery Month Celebration and celebrate local successes. Remind yourself what is possible and help community leaders move forward. Hopefully, when the next National Recovery Month comes around, the community will have even more to celebrate.


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