DCMS Hosts Opioid Education Session for PolicymakersOur DCMS Governmental Affairs Committee hosted an exploration of the opioid epidemic in our community with area policymakers. Legislators, members of the County Board and Board of Health and representatives from the Heroin/Opioid Prevention and Education (HOPE) Taskforce all attended the session.
Aaron Weiner, PhD, Director of Addictions at Linden Oaks, advanced four significant opportunities for advocacy: preventing overdoses, eliminating the supply of opioids, addressing the needs of those at potential risk (primary prevention), and supporting treatment in the community. See link below to access presentation slides.
DuPage County Health Department executive director, Karen Ayala, MPH, emphasized that treatment works, but that lasting recovery is a process and it takes time. "Access to treatment for those who are uninsured or on Medicaid is difficult," she stressed, "and as people sink into addiction they typically lose their jobs, insurance, and other resources." See link below to access presentation slides.
In subsequent discussion attendees noted that while prevention and treatment costs are substantial, the cost of ongoing opioid misuse and overdose death is vast.
Pdf of Aaron Weiner's Presentation
Pdf of Karen Ayala's Presentation