Commissioner Whisenhunt attends national opioid roundtable

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 25, 2018

Forsyth County Commissioner Gloria Whisenhunt will share local efforts to combat the epidemic of opioid addiction at a national roundtable that took place on Friday.

Whisenhunt attended the Roundtable Discussion on Opioids at the National Association of Counties (NACo) offices in Washington, D.C. The roundtable discussed the current challenges of the nationwide opioid crisis and possible solutions to address and prevent substance abuse. Participants included commissioners and staff of 12 counties from across the nation, along with NACo staff and representatives from health insurance company Aetna, which co-sponsored the event.

Whisenhunt shared the county’s many efforts to help those struggling with addiction like the Stepping Up Process to End Recidivism (SUPER), a yearlong program that gives incarcerated women with mental illness and drug abuse issues support services after release. A new District Attorney’s Treatment Alternative (DATA) program for pre-adjudicated inmates recently began, which uses the drug Vivitrol to help them fight addition as they’re released into treatment programs. The efforts also include the Veterans Treatment Court, the Mental Health Court and the Forsyth County Opioid Task Force, which brings together different agencies that deal with opioids to share information and coordinate their efforts.

“It’s not something that you can cure overnight, but I do think that we have good programs in place to address it that are doing some good work,” said Whisenhunt. Whisenhunt is on the national Board of Directors for NACo, a position she was elected to by her fellow county commissioners from across the state. She also serves on the county’s Consolidated Human Services Board, which advises the Public Health Department and Social Services.