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County fights overdoses through recovery programs

Butler County residents have lost a staggering 678 family members, beloved friends, neighbors, co-workers, students and others to overdose deaths since 2011.

But according to a Page 1 article in the Sunday edition of the Eagle, the county has invested in recovery efforts, instead of waiting and hoping the numbers go down.

Second to the gut-wrenching human cost of the overdose crisis of the past 20-plus years, the community, those using drugs and their families suffer financially from the clutches of addiction.

Local employers suffer lost productivity as a result of overdose deaths and drug users’ unreliability.

Children suffer when parents are unable to properly care for them due to their addiction.

“The ways in which chaotic substance use affects our community is endless,” said Rachel Shuster, addiction specialist.

But there are several things that can be done or are being done to mitigate the scourge.

According to the article, employers can give those trying to get sober a chance by hiring them.

Making naloxone available is another way to bring overdose numbers down, as are teaching harm reduction strategies to those in addiction.

As a community partner, the Eagle lauds the lifesaving efforts of every addiction program, recovery program, sober living house, and any other group or program that would tend to lessen the heartbreaking numbers associated with overdose in the county.

Tim Fennell, Butler County’s chief detective, said Butler County suffered 65 losses in 2022 and another 65 in 2023.

Instead of hoping and praying the numbers are lower for 2024, let’s throw our support behind drug prevention and recovery programs this year so we can all have a hand in lowering or even eliminating overdose deaths in Butler County.

— PG

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