A local initiative is making sure the New Year could be a Fresh Start for those who suffer from addiction
On Saturday, two Athens County agencies are reaching out to addicts with an opportunity to begin treatment. Through the Fresh Start initiative, recovery options and resources will be shared in three locations throughout the county, but the effort is not limited to Athens County residents – anyone who needs help is encouraged to take advantage of this life-changing prospect.
“Families are losing too many of our loved ones because of the heroin and opioid epidemic, not only in Athens County, but statewide,” said Prosecutor Keller Blackburn. The purpose of the initiative is to offer assistance to those who need it. Blackburn said this is an opportunity to treat addictions and get a fresh start.
The Athens County Prosecutor’s Office along with Health Recovery Services will offer information this Saturday (Jan 2) in The Plains, Nelsonville, and Trimble. Blackburn said no one attending should fear arrest – the Fresh Start initiative will connect those who suffer from addiction with resources.
Blackburn says he is committed to changing the situation. Heroin and opioid addiction are primary causes of crime throughout the region. About 1 percent of the population suffer from an opioid addiction. It is a problem believed to impact everyone in one way or another.
“We will help anyone from anywhere,” Blackburn said.
Treatment opportunities, including enrollment in a Vivitrol program, will be offered at the library in The Plains from 10 am to noon, at Nelsonville-York High School from 12:30 to 2:30 pm, and at Trimble High School from 3 to 5 pm.
Blackburn explained that Vivitrol works by blocking receptors in the brain so addicts don’t feel cravings. It also prevents users from getting a high even if they do take opioids. However, addicts must be clean for ten days to receive an injection of Vivitrol.