Health Officials Reminding People about the Gateway to Hope Program

The opioid crisis has been a national topic for years. But local health officials say that's not the only problem in Tippecanoe County.

Posted: Sep 12, 2019 6:44 PM

TIPPECANOE Co. Ind. (WLFI)- The opioid crisis has been a national topic for years. But local health officials say that's not the only problem in Tippecanoe County.

"There are still od's in this community,” said Khala Hochstedler the Nursing Supervisor, Tippecanoe County Health Department. “Those are not a Gateway to Hope participants. We need help getting the message out. Also, the drug has changed and I think that's part of the problem. We keep talking about the opioid crisis, in this community we have a drug crisis."

Local recovery groups like Trinity Life Ministries say the people they talk to on the front lines agree that opioids aren't the only issue.

"One of the latest things we have seen an increase of is Benzo's, synthetic Benzos,” said Philip Gabriel Executive Director of Trinity Life Ministries.

Benzo's are a type of drug that act as a muscle relaxer or anxiety medicine. The ones that Trinity Life Ministries are familiar with have a key feature which they say is why drug users are seeking them out.

"The Key feature about this is that it's not detected by a drug screen,” added Gabriel.

We reached out to the Lafayette police department and they say the drugs they see people overdosing on the most are heroin and spice, however, the overdoses on Benzo's were likely recorded at health facilities not by the police department.

"One of the hospitals I have not gotten info from. A few of them were still Heroin. Meth and Benzo,” added Hochstedler.

The health department wants to remind people about their Gateway to Hope Program.

"Drug users who are using other drugs don't think that Gateway to Hope is for them but it's for anyone who needs a needle or any kind of clean illicit drug supply," said Hochstedler.

Drug recovery specialists want to remind the public that this isn't just an issue in Tippecanoe county.

"It's in every community this community is no different than any other it just comes in different forms," said Gabriel.

For more information about Gateway to Hope click here. For more information about Trinity Life Ministries click here.

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