Marion County’s Opioid and Addiction Task Force sets goals to try to stop the addiction

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OCALA, Florida (WCJB) – The Marion County’s Opioid and Addiction Task Force, composed of residents and community leaders, is committed to halting the epidemic. All city and county law enforcement agencies responded to more than 2,000 phone calls related to poisoning or overdose in the past year. Jesse Blaire, an Ocala Fire Rescue captain, said overdose calls have increased over the years

“We could help people who have heart attacks or strokes, and it gives them a lot of work on addiction-related things. So everyone still gets help, but nobody gets exactly the help they need. “

Some of the goals of the task force are to reduce the stigma of drug-assisted treatments, improve access to treatment services, and reduce opioid-related overdoses and deaths.

“The hard part and the part we struggle with is what do we do afterward? You have nowhere to go, you can’t go back inside because you work there and the agencies that help with detox and recovery are probably full, ”Blaire said.

Her goal is to help people with addiction problems get into a program that can save their lives.

Donna Guinn, the Ocala Police Department’s victim attorney supervisor, recalls the time when an eight-year-old boy wanted his uncle to get clean.

“A little boy said please get the help, I want you to be there for me and he said his plan was after they left but he didn’t and got help. We always try to let people know about the people who are making progress. “

The task force meets every month to try to stop the addiction in Marion County.

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