Opiate Task Force to Hold Forum on Substance Abuse and Mental Illness

8/14/14   11:19 a.m.

If anything positive came from Robin Williams’ death, it was mental health and substance abuse issues being forced into the spotlight.

Audio: Zach Thomas

Zach Thomas is the director of Wellness and Education for Hancock County’s Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health Services board.

Thomas said in 2010 there was an increase in drug abuse prompting the creation of the ADAMHS Board’s Opiate Task force. In 2012, the task force battled increasing overdose deaths, but was able to help decrease those by 50 percent in 2013.

Audio: Zach Thomas

Despite the decrease in overdose deaths, there has been an increase in arrests and ER visits due to substance abuse and overdoses.

In order to share resources and get a feel for what the community’s needs are, the task force is holding a community forum nTuesday August 19 at 7 p.m. at First Presbytarian Church.

About the author  ⁄ Genna Freed