Combating the opioid epidemic in rural communities

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BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — On Monday a representative from Washington D.C visited Chestnut Health Systems’ in Bloomington to discuss resolutions for those struggling with substance abuse.

Senior Official Anne Hazlett with the White House’s Office of National Drug Control, plays a key role in improving the living quality for people in Rural America.

She says one of the current problems with addiction, in regard to treatment, is the fact that Urban communities have closer access to resources. She says many rural communities are struggling to help their own.

“To address the needs of rural communities it’s important for people in Washington D.C. to be out and see on the ground what’s working,” said Hazlett.

In addition to improving the quality of living she also is responsible for building strategies aimed at substance prevention, treatment and recovery.

“There are many federal resources that are available,” she said. “But, I think, there are still needs there. We are committed to insuring that they are met.”

Leaders at Chestnut say they were glad to see her make an appearance because it’s important for policy-makers to understand the differences in communities.

“We were able to have her see the needs of our communities, and also for us to be able to talk with her first hand,” said Joan Hartman, Vice President of Strategy and Innovation at CHS. “(We were able) to learn from her, and get information about what’s working in other areas and other states.”

Hazlett says the next step for her is to take what she’s’ learned and relay it to the policy-makers in Washington D.C

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