By Millicent Martin Emery
Wayne County is one of two counties in Indiana selected to bring in national experts to help residents learn more about opioid use disorders and treatments.
The free Wayne County 21st Century Cures Grant Training will be offered from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, May 10, at Reid Health’s Lingle Grand Hall and Auditorium, 1100 Reid Parkway, Richmond.
A light breakfast and lunch will be served at no charge to participants. Reservations are not needed. Organizers want the community to feel welcome to attend, and residents are encouraged to drop in for part of the event if they can only spare a little time that day. Food is being planned for 150 people.
Those attending will be able to:
• Understand opioid use disorders and evidence-based treatments for the disorders
• Define trauma-informed care and explain the connection between trauma and addiction.
• Describe a recovery-oriented system of care and how the community can address the drug epidemic.
Lisa Suttle, who is coordinating the local event, said it’s important that people understand that many of those struggling with drug addiction have experienced earlier trauma in their lives.
“Understanding the trauma behind behaviors helps us to plan better treatment for those people,” said Suttle, who is Reid’s director of strategic initiatives community psychiatric services.
“It gives us more background and information,” Suttle said. “We’re not trying to enable, we’re just trying to understand it more so we can provide appropriate treatment.”
Speakers are Linda Henderson-Smith, PhD, LPC; and Aaron Williams, M.S., Psychology. Both represent the National Council for Behavioral Health.
Henderson-Smith is the director of children and trauma-informed services for the, and Williams serves as the senior director of training and technical assistance for substance abuse for the SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions.
The Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction contacted local officials to learn if Wayne County would be interested in offering the program, along with Dearborn County.
“We definitely welcomed it,” Suttle said of the opportunity.
The May program is sponsored by the National Council for Behavioral Health, the local Heroin is Here committee, and Reid Health Community Benefit.
The May 10 program will be a kickoff for an additional session planned in June to help local leaders make a plan for Wayne County based on the federal fight against the epidemic.
This isn’t the first time Wayne County’s fight against drugs has received statewide attention.
Local leaders helped with the creation of Indiana Senate Bill 499 that has made Wayne County part of a pilot program. Although it’s preferred that addicts pursue voluntary treatment, the law allows officials to get those who have overdosed several times and present a danger to themselves or others into a treatment program.
For more information, call (765) 983-3450.