Substance abuse is something that has touched almost everyone I know. Whether it's a parent, friend or significant other, even yourself, there's no doubt that it's a huge issue in our country.

The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety has teamed up with Integrated Services of Kalamazoo to announce more resources for those wanting to recover from substance abuse, as reported by HealthCrisisAlert.com.

According to a report that was released back in July of 2020, the amount of people visiting Michigan emergency rooms for opioid overdoses jumped 42% from April to May. The pandemic brought stress, anxiety, depression, and a lack of connection for just about everyone. That also means that things like group therapy, anonymous meetings and the like were also interrupted. People need support, no matter what they're struggling with. And the pandemic just didn't allow for it. Not in person, at least.

To better serve the community members, the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety (KDPS) will now refer people to the Integrated Services of Kalamazoo for their Recovery Outreach Program through their Opioid Overdose Response Program.

While the program name might indicate that it's just for those struggling with opioid addictions, that's not the case. Integrated Services of Kalamazoo (ISK) has programs for alcohol addictions and other substance abuse as well. You can find all of their information here.

Those who participate in the program will:

  • Receive assistance with accessing substance use disorder treatment or coordination
  • Receive resources for family and friends, peer support, and education
  • Receive Narcan training
  • Be linked to substance use disorders treatment
  • Have access to treatment will be ongoing and free for up to 60 days

Scott VanderEnde, KDPS executive lieutenant of operations, was quoted saying,

The opioid epidemic has hit Kalamazoo especially hard, and in 2020, there was a record number of overdoses. This partnership will streamline the process for getting people to ISK for treatment, which will help reduce the number of overdoses in our community.

As well, it was recently announced that a new sober house has been opened in Kalamazoo specifically young men who are recovering.

Grand Rapids Business Journal reports that the non-profit Reach Sober Living has opened a 5 bedroom at 1113 Engleman St. in Kalamazoo to be a place of support while people get back on their feet.

The be eligible for the 6 month stay at this sober home residents must:

  • Be a man between the ages of 21-35 years old
  • Must have 30 days of sobriety
  • Complete an application, screening process and an in-person interview
  • Must be employed or actively searching for employment

Those who are approved will then be put on a waitlist.

Reach Sober Living also provides an abundance of resources for those on the road to recovery. You can find details on their programs here.

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