The next public meeting of the Madison County Heroin Task Force will be held in Edwardsville on Thursday, June 18, 2015 at 9:00.
Randy Malan, R.Ph., FASCP Clinical Director with the Illinois Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) will present details of the program, including how this clinical tool is being used by the medical community and how it can be of use to law enforcement in the fight against prescription drug abuse. Additionally, new legislation and its potential impact on the PMP program, if signed into law, will also be discussed. Many studies continue to link prescription drug abuse and heroin addiction.
At previous meetings, Task Force members have heard from a variety of speakers including Warden Jeff Parker from the Southwestern Illinois Correctional Center who discussed the impact heroin has had at his facility which is a dedicated substance abuse correctional facility for male offenders, members of the Madison County Drug Court team, Coroner Steve Nonn who discussed his office’s experience dealing with the devastating results of heroin and opiate addiction, Michael Shah with D.E.A., and Jared Opsal, Public Awareness Specialist and coordinator of the Curiosity+Heroin campaign for the National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse who told attendees what his organization has done in implementing a public awareness campaign in St. Louis. Speakers from the treatment and recovery sector have included WellSpring Resources’ Jessica Park and Kelly Medlin who presented on methadone treatment, Chestnut Health Systems’ Julie Brugger who discussed drug trends and recovery and Task Force member Rebecca Mowen, a Board Registered Interventionist and Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor, discussed how interventions can be an option for families dealing with heroin addiction.
Additionally, Task Force member Dr. Kari Karidis, Assistant Principal with Collinsville High School, discussed her personal experience and loss of a loved one from heroin along with two young women who are currently in recovery. The Task Force has also heard from parents who shared their struggles in dealing with their children who were heroin addicts.
The Heroin Task Force will continue to look at the effectiveness of past efforts to fight the problem while assessing the current status of the problem in Madison County.