Fulton Commission adopts 'Opioid Misuse & Abuse Prevention' plan - CBS46 News

Fulton Commission adopts 'Opioid Misuse & Abuse Prevention' plan

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The Prevention Plan established through the resolution provides a framework based on four key steps. The Prevention Plan established through the resolution provides a framework based on four key steps.
FULTON COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

During its July 19 meeting, the Fulton County Board of Commissioners unanimously adopted a resolution sponsored by Vice Chairman Bob Ellis, District 2, and Commissioner Liz Hausmann, District 1, establishing an Opioid Misuse & Abuse Prevention Plan for Fulton County.

The resolution seeks to implement prevention solutions in response to a growing opioid epidemic in Fulton County and nationwide. The Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office identified 154 opioid-related deaths in 2016, an increase of 156% since 2010. In 2015, Fulton County had approximately 11.7 opioid-related deaths per 100,000 residents, more than double the national rate.

“The statistics are frightening and the epidemic is destroying families and communities, including those here in Fulton County,” said Vice Chairman Ellis. “We must implement a few key strategies that have proven successful, as we cannot afford one more overdose or death.”

Commissioner Hausmann added, “This plan is an important next step following our Naloxone distribution program to Fulton County first responders. These additional programs will shine light on this very serious disease in our community by providing education, support and guidance to those that have been affected, with the hope of stemming the tide of addiction that has led to so many unfortunate deaths.  If even one life is saved, it is well worth it.”

The Prevention Plan established through the resolution provides a framework based on four key steps:

  • Increase the Number of Drug Drop Boxes – while also ensuring that the public is aware of those boxes, in coordination with Fulton County cities and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Approximately 80% of heroin addictions begin with prescription opioid use, and most of those traced to one’s own prescription or that of a friend or family member.
  • Introduce a Crisis Text Assistant Line - in Fulton County and Atlanta public schools, providing information and resources to teens and young adults who text for assistance with bullying, behavioral health needs and other concerns that place them at higher risk of opioid use. A budget of $30,000 was approved to establish the pilot, which is modeled after a similar program in Lake County, IL.
  • Launch a Public Awareness Campaign - to raise awareness and provide education about the risks associated with opioid addiction and intervention resources, in coordination with stakeholders, including schools, cities and other partners. The program will be launched in September, which will be declared as “Opioid Misuse and Abuse Awareness Month.”
  • Enhance Education and Accountability from Medical Providers through development and distribution of educational materials for prescribing physicians as well as patients.

Key Fulton County departments will be a part of the plan implementation, including Behavioral Health, Public Health, law enforcement agencies, and others.

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