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Alliance to HEAL meeting assesses future goals

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – Policies on the opioid epidemic and prescribing practices were a few of the key topics at Thursday’s Alliance to HEAL meeting.

About 60 individuals from different organizations in the community addressed ways to reduce the drug problem in La Crosse. Drug-related hospitalizations and overdose deaths have decreased significantly over the past several years. However, heroin and fentanyl continue to appear in toxicology reports. This is why members of the Alliance said their partnership with local law enforcement is essential.

“We also have to look at how can we work with law enforcement in the future to help address the other side of the illicit drugs as well. We need to be able to do our part as well. Law enforcement is doing a great job in our community with drug investigations and doing that, but we need to probably do a better job of connecting with them and working on community education and working with those trying to get access to treatment as well,” said Al Bliss, the health educator for the La Crosse County Health Department.

Bliss said another goal for the Alliance to HEAL is to better serve women with children who could possibly benefit from residential or inpatient treatment.

“We know that is a high priority population. We know the Adult and Teen Challenge was just most recently added and that is for women only. That is a tremendous step forward for our community. We also know that the women with children currently really do not have an opportunity for that. There are different programs that are available, but not for the housing and residential treatment,” said Bliss.

The Alliance to HEAL hosts meetings every other month. The public is encouraged to attend these meetings.

Allante Walker

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