New tools deployed to combat rural opioid crisis

New tools deployed to combat rural opioid crisis
(Source: WALB)
Federal, state and local programs have been launched (Source: WALB)
Federal, state and local programs have been launched (Source: WALB)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Rural South Georgia communities are deploying new tools to prevent opioid abuse, provided from all levels of government.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture just launched a new website aimed at providing resources, like grants, to rural communities and hospitals.

USDA Georgia officials said education and other things like telemedicine can help curb opioid abuse.

They want healthcare and civic leaders in rural areas to visit their website and apply for those opportunities.

Agency employees also said they're beginning to work with the GBI to develop further rural strategies for fighting opioid abuse.

The Phoebe Putney Network of Trust is also using grants to prevent people from taking the dangerous drugs when they shouldn't.

The Dougherty Alliance for the Prevention of Opioid Abuse has teamed up with Morehouse School of Medicine to get more educators in hospitals and schools throughout South Georgia.

"The prevention of opioid abuse will save a life, it will change a life," Network of Trust Director Angie Barber said. "It will bring knowledge to people that may not understand what addiction is and how to help those they love who may be addicted."

Barber said her group will also be holding meetings in Dougherty County to educate the public beginning in March.

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