O.C. Hosts Addiction Treatment Forum

GOSHEN – Orange County’s Department of Mental Health hosted a forum called “Changing the Orange County Addiction Treatment Ecosystem” on Friday, January 18th at the County’s Emergency Services Center.

The purpose of the “Changing the Orange County Addiction Treatment Ecosystem” event was to raise awareness about opioid abuse in Orange County discuss its impact, explain the neurobiological basis for opioid addiction, as well as review treatment options and guidelines.

It also provided an update on the County’s strategic partnership formed in 2017 with respected healthcare partners to address prescription drug and heroin abuse.

“Orange County Department of Mental Health was pleased to have the opportunity to provide an update regarding the progress we have made with multiple stakeholders in addressing the opioid crisis,” said Darcie Miller, Orange County’s Commissioner of Social Services and Mental Health. “The County and its stakeholders have worked together to increase access to services, enhance the quality of care, promote prevention, education and recovery for those who have lost their battle with addiction, those who are battling addiction, and those that love them. Orange County will continue to be a part of the solution and this forum provided an important educational tool and call to action.”

Dr. Corey Waller, MD, MS and the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers (CCHP), served as the featured guest at the “Changing the Orange County Addiction Treatment Ecosystem” event. Waller is a nationally-recognized expert in the treatment of addiction and opioid related interventions. He and the CCHP have focused with the County and its partners on identifying individuals’ points of entry into the system and their access to care and treatment interventions. The CCHP’s work has included developing pathways among the criminal justice system, the hospitals and emergency rooms, and the outpatient provider system.

This alliance also includes the Center for Regional Healthcare Innovation, which is a member of the Westchester Medical Center (WMC) Health Performing Provider System (PPS) as well as the Westchester Medical Center Health Network; Montefiore Hospital Hudson Valley Network; and the Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Council (ADAC) of Orange County. These organizations will contract with Dr. Corey Waller, MD, MS and the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers (CCHP).

Primary grant funding for this partnership came from the Center for Regional Healthcare Innovation, Montefiore Hospital Hudson Valley Network and the office of Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler, who spoke at Friday’s event.

“This collaboration has helped us identify gaps where we can make a greater effort to deal with the challenges of this epidemic more efficiently and effectively,” Hoovler said. “Heroin and opiate abuse is a serious problem and it not only affects the individuals taking the drug.

It also has a negative impact on their family and friends. Solving this crisis must involve a concerted effort by many stakeholders to educate our citizens about the dangers of drugs and ways to avoid addiction, to treat those who are already addicted, and to enforce the law against those who sell drugs and profit from it.”

Added Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus: “Orange County has successfully worked with key non-profits to expand treatment options, educate families about how they can get help for their loved ones and hold opioid manufacturers accountable. This is a multi-faceted approach and I’m committed to working with all of our state and local partners to find solutions to help residents move from dependency to being drug free.”

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