New group brings HOPE to Moffat County drug epidemic | CraigDailyPress.com

New group brings HOPE to Moffat County drug epidemic

Detective Jen Kenny presents information on the opioid and heroin drug epidemic to Craig City Council. The presentation is part of a new initiative called Moffat County Heroin and Opioid Prevention and Education (HOPE).

The abuse of opioid drugs designed to reduce pain are wrecking havoc across the nation. A new local group is working to bring Moffat County HOPE — Heroin and Opioid Prevention and Education.

"We are dealing with heroin on a daily basis, and it was not like this two years ago, even a year ago," said Craig Police Department Detective Jen Kenny.

Heroin in Colorado, an assessment released in April by the state Heroin response work group, found that 70 percent of heroin users reported that prescription drug use had played a roll in the decision to use heroin.

HOPE's initial work is to raise awareness of the problem locally by drawing on such data and the expertise of area law enforcement, health care providers and service agencies.   

"It is important that everyone realize this problem impacts families from all walks of life; it is not the problem of others," said Northwest Colorado Health Public Health Director Charity Neal. "This epidemic has no cultural, socioeconomic, age, gender or location boundaries."

The sweeping impact of the problem requires a response from the entire community. To create awareness and raise support, HOPE has developed a presentation to give at existing meetings and events throughout the community.

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"Instead of calling a town hall or creating another meeting that people would have to come to, we would go to them," Kenny said.

The presentation was delivered to the Rotary Club of Craig in May and the Craig City Council in June and has already resulted in a new program to help people impacted by the epidemic.

"If you have a hurt, habit or hang-up, we want you to be a part of us. We want to help heal people to help them feel complete and whole," said Tony Bohrer, Lighthouse of Craig pastor and City Councilman.

Lighthouse has created a recovery group called "Seven," that will launch July 24 and then meet at 7 p.m. every Monday. Seven is a 12-step program with measurable goals to help people heal.

"Our next goal is to share stories of people who have been touched by it to give the local issue a face," Kenny said "It's not somebody else's problem, it could be your problem, it could be my problem, we are all affected by it."   

To request a presentation by HOPE, contact Investigative Detective Jen Kenny at 970-826-2360 or email: jkenney@craigpolice.org. or Amanda Arnold of United Way at 970-824-6222.

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com

5 ways to prevent opioid abuse

  1. Lock up opioid prescriptions.
  2. Use the drop box at the Public Safety Center or Drug Take Back days to dispose of unused or excess medication.
  3. Refuse opioid prescriptions. Request and use alternatives for pain management. If prescribed, only take the recommended dose and never use anyone else’s prescription.
  4. Talk to kids about the dangers of prescription opioids. If you suspect your child has a problem, you can first contact your primary care physician
  5. Request a presentation by HOPE contact Investigative Detective Jen Kenny at 970-826-2360 or email: jkenney@craigpolice.org.