Leaders Meet to Discuss Opioid Epidemic
Center for Alcohol and Drug Treatment Is Expanding Their Detox Unit
DULUTH, Minn. – The opioid epidemic has been a huge problem in the Twin Ports for years. Today, a round table discussion was held in Duluth where officials talked about better ways to address the problem.
Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith (DFL-Minn.) came to Duluth to to learn about some of the ways organizations are fighting opioid addiction and what more can be done to combat the problem.
“Mayor Larson and I talked just a week ago about some of the really innovative work that they’re doing here and I wanted to be able to see first hand the innovation and the new mind set that Duluth is bringing to this problem and it was great to see it,” said Lieutenant Governor Smith.
She toured the Center for Alcohol and Drug Treatment on East Superior Street, a place that provides opioid addiction treatment in Duluth.
They recently got $675,000 in grant funds from the state. That money will allow the treatment center to expand their detox unit by six beds to offer opioid withdrawal management services.
“One of the biggest concerns has been at hospitals, emergency rooms, law enforcement that help people survive an opioid overdose but then there’s no immediate help for them so they’ll end up in the emergency room and go home a few hours later,” said Gary Olson, Executive Director of the Center for Alcohol and Drug Treatment. “This will allow a step in between.”
Center officials tell us that grant money will only get this new program started. That’s why they’re hoping state officials will give them needed medicaid funds to meet the growing demand from addicted patients.
The Center for Alcohol and Drug Treatment is a community non-profit organization that has been forced to expand more and more because of the growing opioid problem.