The Coalition for Healthy and Drug-Free Muskingum discussed their ideas and initiatives during their hour and a half meeting Thursday morning. The discussion focused on what drugs are most prevalent in Muskingum County, how it’s affecting people and what they are doing to stop it from happening.
"We’re looking at ways that we can start addressing the needs of babies being born addicted, those numbers are skyrocketing in our area," said Steve Carrel, CEO of Muskingum Behavioral Health.
Rape, burglaries, and thefts are up in Muskingum County which are often related to the drug problem. Painkillers are also an exploding issue in Muskingum County because they are easily accessible. Carrel says the coalition has contributed to the efforts local hospitals are making. Local hospitals are changing their prescribing practices with painkillers to reduce the dispensing of them through emergency rooms, which is a common method that people seeking drugs use.
"This is a collaborative community, this is a community that when we put our heads together, we make things happen, we move mountains. And the coalition in my opinion has already moved a mountain, and we are going to continue to push that mountain."
Carrel says it’s a process, but they are working on finding ways to address the community’s needs and hope to have a community awareness program in the future.