Overdose Deaths Rise in US, Local Agencies Fight | Best Stories

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CLINTON, Ill. (WAND) – Over the past month, the Clinton Police Department said they were able to help 2 people through their Safe Passage program.

The Safe Passage program has been in the community for 5 years. During these years, the department only helped 2 people suffering from drug addiction. However, over the past month, Chief Ben Lowers said there had been 2 other people asking for help.

“We provide the bridge between the addict and the resources available to give him the help he needs,” he told WAND News.

At a time when overdoses and overdose deaths are on the rise. Chief Lowers said he noticed increased interest in the Safe Passage program after the community recently adopted Neighborhood Watch.

“We will certainly stand by your side and put you in touch with the right people and the right resources to get you where you need to be.”

The Centers for Disaster Control and Prevention reported last year 93,000 people died of overdose in the United States. The agency translated this into an average of more than 250 deaths per day, or about 11 per hour. The Gateway Foundation in Springfield works with people struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. Merceds Kent, clinical supervisor of the Springfield Outpatient Care Program, said the pandemic had taken its toll on those struggling with drug addiction.

“Addiction is a disease of isolation and the opposite of addition is not recovery, the opposite of addiction is its connection.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many people to rethink their lifestyles. For the Gateway Foundation, they’ve been forced to move services online, which Kent says is now a blessing as they can connect with more people.

To learn more about the Gateway Foundation, Click here.


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