Health department grant focuses on opioid crisis

Crawford Co. Health Dept, others, awarded grant
Health department grant focuses on opioid crisis

Health departments in Southeast Kansas have been awarded portions of a 900-thousand dollar grant — to fight the opioid crisis.

One of them was the Crawford County Health Department.

Rebecca Adamson has been the director of the Crawford County Health Department for a year and a half, and in that time, fighting the opioid epidemic has been a priority.

Rebecca Adamson, Dir., Crawford Co. Health Dept.:”We’ve always known that there are other drug use issues in the area, but opioid misuse is one that is there, it’s just not really come to the surface until recently.”

Addressing that trend is why the department has been awarded 75-thousand dollars from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE).

Adamson:”The grant will focus on educating providers within the county on opioid misuse, it will also educate on how to screen for it, how to treat it, and kind of how to mitigate it, how to avoid it.”

The department doesn’t currently have plans set in stone, but Adamson would like to improve and increase drug abuse screenings before opioids are prescribed.. to catch the problem before it gets worse.

Adamson:”That’s gonna be one big focus of the grant is to get that training out to all of the providers in the county. To try to find possible red flags before it actually becomes an issue.”

Captain Danny Smith with the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office is excited to see what the health department does with the grant because it could be beneficial in more ways than one.

Danny Smith, Crawford County Sheriff’s Office:”That will have a ripple effect for us, in terms of we might see a reduction in criminal behavior, o-d’s. And not only on a law enforcement side, but on the first responder side altogether.. Ems, the hospitals. If you see a reduction in those, as a result of this education, it’s definitely a positive thing.”

The Labette and Neosho County Health Departments have also been awarded funds from the grant.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there were *146* opioid overdose deaths in Kansas in 2016.