County launches Substance Abuse Recovery Initiative

In coordination with National Recovery Month, observed in September each year, Susquehanna County Commissioners MaryAnn Warren, Alan Hall, and Elizabeth Arnold have launched the Substance Abuse Recovery Initiative (SARI).

This year-long public health effort will address challenges associated with the opioid crisis and other drug and alcohol related problems throughout all of Susquehanna County.

The initiative committee is comprised of a cross representation of the community including elected government officials, law enforcement, public health, education, treatment providers, persons in recovery, family advocates, and consumers.

The Commissioners approved $10,000 for the initiative’s operating costs to be administered through the Susquehanna/Lackawanna Drug and Alcohol Program Joinder.

Objectives of the initiative include creating a planning forum to advance prevention, intervention, and treatment within Susquehanna County using the “warm handoff” approach to recovery. Warm handoff referrals are part of collaborative care efforts that transfer the patient’s treatment among members of a health care team. Warm handoffs are transparent processes that introduce the next step of treatment to patients or their families while engaging and improving communication about care.

Commissioner Warren remarked, “All residents in Susquehanna County should have access to the appropriate prevention, intervention, and treatment services. This initiative will increase awareness of substance abuse resources to those in need of overall wellness options as well as treatment and counseling. We are committed to supporting and strengthening services for individuals and families impacted by substance use disorders.”

The Susquehanna/Lackawanna Joinder serves the populations of both counties through programs in the Department of Human Services, including the Behavioral Health Intellectual Disabilities Early Intervention (BHIDEI) Program as well as the Office of Drug and Alcohol Programs, which acts as a Single County Authority (SCA).

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