The Adams County Health Department has launched a new program that is aimed at treating opioid addiction and creating a healthier community.

In 2018, the health department received federal funding through the Rural Health Opioid Program by Health Resources and Services Administration to implement what is now known as the Facing Opiates Together Project, pursed and developed by Adams County Health Commissioner, Dr. William Hablitzel.

This project, which started in January, is a community initiative to provide a streamlined process for identification, referral, treatment, and prevention of substance use disorder.
This project includes Medication-assisted treatment using Vivitrol, a non-addictive, non-narcotic form of treatment provided through the Adams County Health Department. Those enrolled in the program will receive counseling services from one of our local treatment providers throughout the program. In addition to receiving Vivitrol and counseling services, participants are given the opportunity to engage in Life Skills Training and be connected to community life coaches.

These coaches are community members who have and still can sign up to help mentor individuals in recovery. This is a perfect opportunity for individuals to connect, and help create a network of support for one another.

According to Rural Health Opioid Program Director Danielle Poe, the project has allowed for partnerships to be formed with the Adams County Common Pleas Court and Probation Department, Children Services Board, Coalition for a Drug-Free Adams County, Adams County Regional Medical Center, and many other community organizations.

“These partnerships are in place to facilitate and help ensure a client-centered continuum of care. Individuals are screened for opiate use disorder upon incarceration at the country jail. If identified, referrals for treatment are made upon release from incarceration,” said Poe. “The program is open to individuals in the community who are looking for treatment of their opiate addiction and they may walk into the Adams County Health Department to enroll in the program.”

In addition to identification and treatment, the project places a focus on community restoration. This includes the prevention of substance use as well. The program is providing community education on topics such as trauma-informed care and life skills training for youth.
“The goal is to reduce the stigma of addiction so that individuals can recover through a community connected approach. Another goal is that our children are equipped with the care needed to address the trauma that many of them have faced, and given the tools to handle life through life skills training.”

According to Poe, the life-skills training is now provided in all schools in Adams County.

“Through this project, we hope to create a movement of prevention. We also know that in order for Community restoration to occur, we must stop focusing on ways out of this opiate epidemic, and instead focus on connection to the human beings who are suffering from it,” said Poe.

For more information in becoming a life coach/mentor for the project, training to provide life skills with your youth-serving organization or church, trauma-informed care training for your church or youth-serving organization, or if you or someone you know are interested and receiving Vivitrol and enrolling in the facing opiates together project, call the Adams County Health Department Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 pm at 937-544-5547.

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