New Addiction Services Boost Recovery in Greene County

CARROLLTON — Greene County health officials are encouraged by the progress the county has made with substance abuse and support services.

Two years ago, the county had very few services for people with addictions, said Molly Peters, administrator of the Greene County Health Department.

At that time, fentanyl use was increasing in the county, raising concerns among officials working to help people suffering from addiction.

“Our community health staff has been educating the community about recovery and connecting with people who are starting to recover,” Peters said. “A few years ago, there were no support services in the community — no Narcotics Anonymous — just very little support, in general.”

As a result, the Department of Health has worked – and continues to work – to provide resources such as test strips and naloxone to individuals and organizations to help prevent overdose deaths in the county.

Today, the county has Narcotics Anonymous groups, programs to help transport people to treatment centers and increased mental health support, she said, noting that there are programs that help people in all areas of their lives and, as a result, facilitate improvement in their overall well-being.

Although programs like Narcotics Anonymous were not created or overseen by the Department of Health, the people who used their services created these programs to help others, Peters said.

Since the programs were put in place, there appears to be an improvement in overdoses in the county, Peters said.

“Fentanyl and overdose rates have gone down,” Peters said. “Fentanyl is a problem across the state, so the risk and the problem are still there, but we’re making these services more accessible and we’re seeing movement in the right direction.”

In addition to local support services, the department, with county funding, also provides transportation to those who need services but do not have reliable transportation.

“It’s had a huge impact, especially in our rural communities,” Peters said.

Peters knows there is a lot of work to be done to help everyone suffering from addiction, she said, but the department is still working to connect people to services and provide them with access.

People needing assistance can call or text the department’s helpline at 217-702-2396, or contact Community Health Officer Ron Sprong at 217-942-6961, ext. 4124.

“Two years ago, no one was creating a safe space or meeting the needs of individuals,” Peters said. “Today, we are able to provide more services to our community because of the connections we have made.”