Sara Kinsman is the director of the health departments’s Division of Maternal, Child and Family Health, which received the grant. The first iteration of the centralized referral system will be a hotline that she hopes is launched by next summer.
Kinsman said that the providers will work together to plan the system’s next phases. But they already agree that its final form will allow for family choice, meaning the system’s clients will be included in the decision-making process about which provider seems best for them.
By Grace Shallow
The answers they received shocked them. Of the drug users the Health Department surveyed, 45 percent told researchers that they weren’t trying to avoid fentanyl at all — that they would be more likely to use a bag of fentanyl.
“There was more acceptance — it had become part of the community in a way it hadn’t been initially. It was actually something people were going for because it was an enhanced high,” said Kendra Viner, manager of the department’s Opioid Surveillance Program. “And people between 25 and 34 years old were significantly more likely to say they would seek out fentanyl.”
By Aubrey Whelan