Bemidji Area Opiate Programs Gather To Discuss Opiate Crisis
Bemidji area opiate programs gathered this morning to discuss ways to address the epidemic in Minnesota.
There were representatives from about 20 different agencies including Sanford Health, North Homes Children And Family Services, Leech Lake Band Of Ojibwe, White Earth Nation and Red Lake Indian Health Services. District 5A representative candidate John Persell also attended. The organizations took turns sharing ideas on how everyone in the community can work together to solve the crisis.
Lance Egley, the MARRCH Region 1 Governor, says, “We’ve been reaching out to mental health, medical, business community, and we want to find the place to reach out the general public so that they can both learn more about this and also, in some cases they may be able to plug in like the peer recovery support. Although, you do need certain training for that.”
There were two main objectives in the meeting. The first was to find common ground on opiate-related issues. The other objective was to discuss the new services that will be provided by the state of Minnesota. The group also discussed how to bring more awareness to the issue.
Egley says, “For people individually, there is knowing about opiates. There is knowing about things to reduce the risk of them getting to the wrong places. There is know what to do with friends and relatives which can be a very challenging situation if they’re involved with opiates and then, as I said, there is recovery support and there are prevention efforts. Those are all things that I think community members can get involved in.”
The meetings are scheduled to happen bi-monthly. Organizers say it is possible they could be opened up to the public in the future.