Little Falls leads addiction fight

 

To the Editor:

Once again, Little Falls health care professionals are receiving well-deserved national attention in Washington D.C. for their success in combating opioid addiction. It’s a public health crisis almost no one saw coming, which makes it even more impressive that doctors and nurses at CHI St. Gabriel’s Health recognized the warning signs several years ago, and immediately got to work finding ways to prevent people from becoming addicted to painkillers in the first place.

It’s refreshing to hear our local health care professionals were never content to stand by, waiting for government to find a solution this problem. But now that Morrison County’s successful Accountable Communities for Health (ACH) program has become a model for other communities in Minnesota, I’m proud the state legislature was able to pass a grant package for opioid abuse prevention pilot projects this year. Now other communities will benefit from what we’ve learned, and state funding will back similar programs to keep Minnesotans healthy across the state.

It will take grit and perseverance, but eventually Minnesota’s opioid problem will turn the corner. It all started with a few brave citizens in our own backyard who cared about the people in their community, and took action.

Sen. Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa