Christian Family Solutions brings community awareness and prevention against opioid crisis

MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) – The numbers keep rising: fentanyl and other opioid related substances have been plaguing Minnesota communities for years- and now, overdose deaths are at an all-time high.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, the overdose death rate rose by 22% last year, with a reported total of 1,286 overdose deaths.

“That’s about three overdose deaths each day. So, the more naloxone we can out into the community, hopefully we can see those numbers start to decrease within the next year,” overdose prevention instructor and licensed alcohol & drug counselor Stephanie Jordan said.

Mankato’s Christian Family Solutions says its time to combat the substance abuse and mental health crisis with awareness and treatment.

“We all want to be part of the solution to help individuals that are struggling, especially with dual disorders,” licensed alcohol & drug counselor Renae Danberry said.

CFS offers adult, dual diagnosis treatment programs.

Half of out-patient time is spent on preventing relapse and the other half on mental health complications, all in effort to provide successful, long-term recovery.

“That is why we are starting to see more of the dual diagnosis programming come about, so we can really get to the root cause that is leading to the substance use,” Danberry said.

Even after recovery, CFS offers aftercare, community programs for individuals to maintain their sobriety.

“We are just finding that that reduces some of those risks for relapse. And it allows them to stay connected with others. We do know that opposite of addiction is connection, so we really want to build those healthy connections,” Danberry said.

More importantly, every second and fourth Monday of each month, CFS offers free, naloxone training and test kits for the community.

“They’re pretty simple to use and understand. We go through a demonstration during the training of how you can administer the naloxone, and then in every kit there is instructions,” Jordan said.

Over 300 people have been trained since September, 2021.

“The goal is always long-term recovery so that people can live a happy, healthy life in recovery,” Jordan said.

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