Return to In the News

Chairman’s Corner: Opioid epidemic response update

The fight to combat the insidious opioid epidemic in our community continues, with the effort to eliminate this scourge continuing through a partnership between public and private entities.

We’ve all heard the horror stories. Many know someone struggling with addiction. As we have learned, opioid addiction can suddenly take over a life from any part of society. Education, wealth (or lack of it), line of work — none of it protects someone afflicted by addiction.

As Columbia County Director of Human Services/Mental Health Center Michael Cole has stated, the average American life span has decreased due to deaths from opiates, 68 percent of jail inmates have a substance abuse disorder (SUD), and 78 United States citizens die each day from opiates. In addition, in 2016 there were 13 opioid-related deaths in Columbia County, and, since 2010, there has been a threefold increase in U.S. heroin-related deaths.

Read the complete article