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June 27, 2018

Washington Parish is 2nd in State for Opioid Deaths

Submitted By Gail Brigham
The Washington Parish Coalition on Human Services heard a presentation from Deputy Chief Mike Haley of the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday, June 26 at 9:30am at Elizabeth Sullivan Memorial Church, Bogalusa. Twenty-five people were in attendance. Haley stated that Louisiana physicians write 108 prescriptions for every 100 people in the state.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control, in 2016, there were 63,632 drug overdose deaths in the United States. The CDC further estimates that of those, 42,249 deaths involved any opioid. Haley said, “According to the Louisiana Commission on Prevention of Opioid Abuse, Washington Parish is number two of five parishes that lead the state in opioid deaths.”

Our Lady of Angels Emergency Room reported that there were 93 persons with overdose issues from January to June 2018. Northshore Emergency Medical Services reported that in 2017, 267 calls were related to drug overdoses and that 242 were transported to area hospitals. Narcan, a prescription medicine that blocks the effects of opioids and reverses an overdose, was used 255 times. Quoting from The Bogalusa Daily in 2017, “Our Lady of the Angels Hospital Communications Manager Angela Lambert said Friday that Mark Keller, who’s in charge of the emergency room at the hospital, told her Lambert “over the course of the last seven days there were 45 heroin presentations in the ER.”

Haley said the Washington Parish Sheriff has sued a pharmaceutical company to stop the flow of opioids.

Gail Brigham presented the Coalition with a certificate for its one year commitment to Louisiana Partnership for Success grant from Florida Parishes Human Services Authority and the Louisiana Department of Health Office of Behavioral Health.

The Coalition attracted representatives from ADAPT, Choices, Bogalusa Strong, S.E. Louisiana Legal Office, Our Lady of Angels Hospital, Bogalusa Police Department, Representative Malinda White and Senator Beth Mizell’s office and Head Start. The next Coalition meeting will be held on July 24 at ESM United Methodist Church from 9:30-11:30. A pre-Coalition subcommittee meeting will be held at 8:30 and will focus on prescription drug abuse and underage drinking. A luncheon meeting for Bogalusa Strong will be held at the Bogalusa Country Club following the Coalition meeting. The community is invited to all meetings.

The Parish Coalition involves people who represent Non Profits, Flood Recovery, Business, Civic, Health Care Professionals, Law Enforcement, Media, Parent, Faith Organizations, School, State Government Agency, Substance Abuse Organizations, Youth and Youth Serving Organizations, and community- minded individuals. The coalition is open to all.

There is more information available about the Washington Parish Coalition on Human Services by visiting http:/www/ or like us on Facebook at WPCHS. Find and follow us on Twitter or on Instagram

About the Washington Parish Coalition on Human Services
The WPCHS provides a structure in which parents, law enforcement, religious, youth, media, youth serving organizations, health, local or government, and other organizations involved in reducing alcohol and prescription drug abuse - can work together and coordinate ongoing efforts in Washington Parish. The Coalition’s vision is enhancing the psycho-social-physical well-being of all individuals of Washington Parish through their life span. Our mission is to support and promote Healthier Community Systems. The coalition is funded by ADAPT, Inc., a Drug-Free Communities grantee and in collaboration with Florida Parish Human Services Authority and their grant from Louisiana Partnerships for Success.

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