Check out Sunrise Community, and our very own Kevin Mahoney and Geena Hammond, as featured in this week’s edition of the Mountain Xpress!
Cure for pain: Preventing opioid-related deaths
Posted on January 25, 2017 by Dan Hesse
Buncombe County, like many places across the country, is in the throes of an opioid epidemic, many local sources say. Despite law enforcement efforts and increased awareness of overprescribing, the last few years have seen a dramatic rise in opioid-related overdoses and deaths.
Between 2005 and 2014, the county had 110 homicides, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services. During the same period, 195 county residents died from opioid overdoses. And between 1999 and 2015, Buncombe ranked eighth among the state’s 100 counties, with 304 opiate deaths. Worse yet, those numbers are accelerating rapidly. During a 15-year stretch (1999-2013), Buncombe County recorded 17 deaths from heroin overdoses. In the next two years alone, the county had 27 heroin-related deaths. The number of overdose emergency calls has also soared, according to Asheville Police Department statistics. In 2015, city emergency personnel responded to 70 overdose calls. Last year, that number jumped 67 percent, to 117 calls.
Hope may be on the horizon, however, thanks to a sea change in how the problem is viewed. Increasingly, county officials, law enforcement personnel and health care providers are framing addiction as a public health issue rather than a crime. And a proposed diversion program could prevent deaths and ruined lives while creating a healthier community…Read More
As Congress continues taking steps to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the National Council for Behavioral Health is joining together with Mental Health America, Addiction Policy Forum, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, and National Alliance on Mental Illness to protect the ACA’s Medicaid expansion.
Next Tuesday, January 17, we are asking advocates to join us in a nationwide call-in day to protect patients’ access to mental health and addictions services by preserving the Medicaid expansion. By taking just 10 minutes next Tuesday to call your Representative and two Senators, you will join thousands of dedicated advocates to have your voice heard in Congress. Join us and help save Medicaid expansion in 2017!
Why is Medicaid expansion important? Medicaid expansion is vital to our community—it provides health coverage to millions of Americans with mental health and addiction disorders. Without Medicaid expansion, low-income people across the country will be left as they were before the ACA, with no pathway to affordable health coverage.
Why advocate now? It is urgent that we defend Medicaid expansion now before Congress votes on ACA repeal. The more noise we make now, the better our chances of delaying or stopping future cuts to Medicaid.
Call-In Day Prep: Mark your calendar for January 17! The National Council will send out more information including step-by-step instructions for National Call-In Day to Protect Medicaid Expansion next week. In the meantime, you can prepare for your calls by reviewing these Call-In Day Instructions and Medicaid expansion talking points.
Welcome to Sunrise Community for Wellness & Recovery Blog Page! Here you will learn more about whats going on at Sunrise and hear some great stories from volunteers and others in the community. Please feel free to ask any questions and or share your story? We look forward to hearing from you.