Oakland Press – Oakland County’s opioid dataset portal provides information for residents and advocates

In 2016, over 30 county residents died from opioid abuse.

The county is trying to combat this issue with new data sets and information related to opioid abuse on its Access Oakland website.

A new open data portal focused on opioids, launched July 10, is now available

Oakland County Health Division Manager Leigh-Anne Stafford said the site was launched to raise public awareness of the opioid epidemic, and to try to be proactive in responding to this problem in Oakland County.

A few of the portal’s key feature include an interactive map that will allow users to view prescription drug drop-off locations, county prevention sites and resources, treatment locations and a map of all Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings in the county.

Stafford said the portal will act as a one-stop shop for prescription drug abuse information, which has been gathered from a variety of resources across the county.

Resources include the Oakland Community Health Network, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, the Oakland County Sheriff’s office, local law enforcement agencies, Alliance of Coalitions for Health Communities, Southeastern Michigan Health Association and the Oakland County Medical Examiner’s Office.

“Having this online data access point will allow us to target our prevention, treatment, and law enforcement efforts in the areas of most need, as well as promoting prevention, treatment and recovery resources to residents in an interactive, visual manner,” said Stafford.

By the numbers

• Since 2010, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, 134 Oakland County residents have died from an opioid overdose.

• According to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, 18 lives were saved in 2015 when deputies used Naloxone. In 2016, the sheriff’s office saw a nearly 300 percent jump when 50 people’s lives were saved.

• In 2016, 743,969 opioid prescriptions were filed in the county

• In 2016, 6,409 residents were treated for opioid abuse

Opioid deaths in Oakland County

• 2010, 10

• 2011, 10

• 2012, 13

• 2013, 14

• 2014, 21

• 2015, 33

• 2016, 33

RELATED: Gov. Snyder’s order makes naloxone easier to get in Michigan but won’t encourage more use says Sheriff Bouchard

RELATED: Mental Health Authority taking steps to combat substance abuse

RELATED: County launches website aimed at safe disposal of prescriptions

RELATED: Michigan’s new prescription drug monitoring program launches, aims to combat opioid abuse

RELATED: Sheriff Bouchard says state’s drug monitoring program “doesn’t hold anyone accountable”

RELATED: County Prescription Drug Abuse Partnership recognized by Harvard University

RELATED: Birmingham students hear first-hand of effects of substance abuse

RELATED: Increase in use of naloxone leads to rising cost of saving lives in Oakland, across country

Portland Alano Club offers hope for recovery with innovative tool kit

Portland Alano

Contributor, Ryan Hampton, Recovery Advocate at Facing Addiction + Person in Long Term Recovery from Substance Use Disorder

Huffington Post, 07/06/2017 05:55 pm ET

What’s in your recovery tool kit? How do you maintain your recovery on a day to day basis? One thing that recovery advocates, doctors, and addiction science all agree on is connection. Other, healthy people are the key to finding recovery and staying sober for long periods of time.

There are other things, too: meditation, mindfulness, and different kinds of group therapy are all methods that people use to heal from drug and alcohol abuse. It sounds simple, but self care, learning more about addiction, and connecting with people in the recovery community are the “prescription” for our illness. Slowly, research is catching up with what grassroots activists, harm reduction groups, and recovery groups have known for a century. We need help, and for that, we support each other.

This might sound like a fantasy, but it’s not. One amazing example is the Alano Club in Portland, Oregon. Their Recovery Toolkit series is changing the way that we treat substance use disorder. By focusing on holistic, integrated recovery support, the Alano Club has created a simple set of “tools” for people who need help achieving long term recovery. Weekly yoga and meditation classes, mindfulness workshops, writing sessions for people who want to learn to tell their recovery stories, and even courses on healthy eating, addiction, and relationships. The classes are free and totally open to the community: anyone who walks in can get the help they need. The Club is home to hundreds of mutual aid support groups every week.

I think the Alano Club is an incredible example of where peer supported recovery is going. It’s not a treatment center: it’s a nonprofit. It’s a member of the Facing Addiction Action Network, one of 600+ groups dedicated to helping people in recovery. It also looks beyond immediate need to the larger forces at work. The Club’s advocacy training workshops teach people how to lobby for change and communicate with people who don’t know the truth about substance use disorder. This is groundbreaking, in the recovery world. In fact, the Alano Club was just recognized by FAVOR’s Joel M. Hernandez Award, the highest national award given to a recovery community organization. It also got a Focus on Innovation Award from Addiction Policy Forum for its work.

What’s important is that the Alano Club is a one-stop resource for people in Portland, but its mission and materials could easily be adapted to any other recovery club.

That’s the beauty of recovery: it really does go everywhere. I wish there was an Alano Club in every county and state, all across America. Many of us are lucky to live near major cities, and find connections there. But recovery, and the tools to get it, should be free and open to everyone. Those resources should be available to everybody who needs them, no matter where they live.

Many thanks to the Alano Club and the hundreds of recovery community organizations, non profits, churches, community groups, families, and recovery advocates who are pushing back against the drug epidemic. Your work is so valuable, and, in this public health crisis, essential.

You may not always make the front page, but we see you. Thank you.

Ryan Hampton is an outreach lead and recovery advocate at Facing Addiction, a leading nonprofit dedicated to ending the addiction crisis in the United States.