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Alliance to HEAL gets a Wake Up Call

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ONALASKA, Wis. (WXOW) – The conversation continues on the opioid crisis in La Crosse.

Last summer, a group called The Alliance to HEAL formed with a goal to fix the gaps in care for people with substance abuse disorders.

At their latest meeting on Thursday, March 28, the group learned about a wake up call for parents; how your child could be hiding drugs in their bedroom in plain sight.

Sandi Lybert knows the reality of this. Her son is a recovering addict.  She presented on her prevention program called Wake Up Call. It’s a life size exhibit of a teenagers bedroom with everyday items like water bottles or soda cans that could point out where your teens could be hiding drugs.

“As a mother of a recovering heroin addict, I look back and I missed so many of those signs, simple signs of maybe Tyler starting down that path. Not necessarily the addiction part of it, but if we caught a child sooner could we change that path? I’m a true believer of that I believe knowledge is power and I think that’s where the bedroom has come from. It’s innocent looking items that technically could lead to dependency or addiction,” said Lybert.

Sandi is creating a website so parents can view the bedroom online. The plan is to launch their website sometime this July. They received federal funding to develop the site with help from our region and members of the Alliance.

There is some good news that the group wants to point out to the public. The number of drug overdose deaths this year is at only two. There was one death in January and there is one pending from March, according to Health Educator Al Bliss. Compared to last year where we had two deaths per month. But they said one death is still too many and will continue to work to make that number zero.

La Crosse County announced the formation of the Alliance to HEAL late last year. HEAL stands for Halting the Effects of Addiction Locally.

News 19 plans to follow along in their progress and report their findings and actions.

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