Senator McGuire announces $4.8 million Opioid Addiction House Center
A full house of about 240 people came to the town hall meeting hosted by Senator Mike McGuire and 4th District Supervisor Virginia Bass at the Sequoia Conference Center in Eureka on Tuesday, November 14. Also in attendance were Humboldt County Sheriff Honsal, and Eureka Police Chief Steve Watson.
In his opening speech, McGuire spoke of the opioid crisis in America as the worst in America’s history and he said Humboldt County has been hit harder than many areas. He offered the following statistics. Humboldt County has
- 5 times the mortality rate compared to the statewide average when it comes to opioid addiction
- 2 times higher hospitalization rate for opioid overdoses than the rest of California
- Between 80% and 90% higher prescription rate for opioids than the rest of California
Then he offered solutions. “We’re proud to be announcing a 4.8 million investment in the opening of a results-driven new opioid addiction health center here in Humboldt County in the coming months,” he said. This will be run by Aegis Treatment Centers, LLC. based out of Canoga Park, California. The Center is to open within 12 to 18 months from now, according to the Senator.
Below is a video of McGuire’s address in which he also spoke of needle disposal sites being set up.
Senator McGuire stated, “While there will be challenges ahead, together, we can do this.”
Later, 4th District Supervisor Virginia Bass spoke about needle disposal sites being set up in areas within the County that have yet to be determined.
Aegis Treatment CEO Alex Dodd was part of the panel and made a presentation about Aegis Treatment Center’s 31 Clinics in California, with 660 employees, 250 councilors, and 25 doctors along with 60 nurses. The company’s mission statement is to “help our patients gain the skills and confidence to lead drug free lives…” Dodd stated that using a combination of treatment and medication is best.
EPD Chief Watson spoke when the public in attendance brought up the issue of the influx of used needles being found in Eureka and in Humboldt county. He stated,
We have met twice so far with Harm reduction programs in the county, Department of Health and Human Services, City of Eureka, City manager and himself…We learned there was some practices that changed in the last couple years that may have contributed to the huge influx of needle use in our city including for a time…going to a needs based distribution of needles away from a one-for-one type model…We secured some promises or agreements for some changes in current practices…If followed up on, I would expect a result fairly dramatic reduction in the number of needles in town.
Below is Watson’s full response via video.
More meetings like this one will be scheduled after the beginning of the New Year.