Pubdate: Wed, 10 Feb 2016
Source: Times-Picayune, The (New Orleans, LA)
Copyright: 2016 The Times-Picayune
Author: Edward C. Carlson


RE: "43 died of heroin overdoses in New Orleans in 2015, coroner 
says." Metro. January 29.

The spike in heroin overdoses in Orleans and Jefferson parishes is 
alarming. Also alarming is the lack of resources for people who are 
battling opioid addiction. Until the barriers to treatment are 
addressed and access to care is available, opioid abuse and the 
corresponding overdoses will not decrease.

The quickest and most efficient way to address the current opioid 
crisis is to make sure that substance abuse treatment services, 
including detox, are readily available to the community. Treatment 
beds are severely limited in both Orleans and Jefferson parishes, 
leading to long wait lists at most substance abuse treatment 
facilities. This uptick in opioid overdoses should be recognized as a 
public health issue. Without readily available treatment options, an 
addict will continue to use until, inevitably, that person is met 
with deadly results.

This issue has been years in the making. Unless the city begins to 
recognize the root of the problem and invest in a system of care that 
can move people into treatment, we will continue to move people 
suffering from substance abuse into the morgue.

Edward C. Carlson, MA, M.F.T.

Chief Executive Officer

Odyssey House Louisiana
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom