August 24, 2017 06:24 PM
Addiction is taking it's toll on communities in the Northland.
"We see a huge influx of addiction issues and its not just opioids," CEO of NorthLakes Community Clinic, Reba Rice, said. "Opioids are certainly getting a lot of attention, but alcohol and methamphetamines are a huge problem here."
The NorthLakes Community Clinic was given a $5 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help in their fight against addiction. The clinic worked with Ashland leaders and U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin to get the funding to expand their clinic.
A year ago they met to discuss how they could fight the opioid epidemic and now today they announced they're expanding their clinic to right next door.
"This is something that helps NorthLakes Community Clinic to expand to be able to increase its capacity to help more people in these communities," Senator Baldwin said.
The expansion will give them more space for group treatments and medication assisted treatments.
"We have several therapists here, we have our medication assisted treatment physician is here, and we have some intensive outpatient options for patients, and it will make it possible for us to do much more of that," Rice said.
This is just the first step in their fight against addiction.
"It's going to take at least three years, because this is a culture change," Rice said. "It's going to take a long time for us to get from where we are to where we need to be."
The Ashland County District Attorney, Kelly McKnight, said felony-level drug related cases have more than doubled in the past six years. In 2011 there were 122 cases, but there were 320 last year. They're on pace to reach that number again this year.
Created: August 24, 2017 06:24 PM
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