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White House Drug Advisor Visits Treatment Center in McLean County

A leader in America’s war on drugs heard about the need for more funding to help with substance abuse issues in the rural sections of McLean County today.

Anne Hazlett is the Senior Advisor for rural affairs for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

She toured the Chestnut Health system’s Bloomington campus Monday where she heard the ages of the children caught up in drugs and or alcohol keeps dropping.

“That are in 3rd, 4th and 5th grade. We know they also come with families that have histories of substance abuse disorders. It’s a whole new ballgame when you’re looking at kids that young,” said Joan Hartman, V.P. of Health Strategy and Innovation.

The Chestnut location in McLean county treated some 2,000 people in the past year.

43% had an alcohol problem, 25% percent were battling opiates.

But the increase they’re seeing is in methamphetamine use, now 8% of their patient base.

During her tour, Ms. Hazlett said she was impressed by the center’s collaboration with community partners.

“Working closely for example with the hospital, the school systems and seeing how we can reach people in different settings,” Hazlett said.

Ms. Hartman there says they’ve found that some people in their region may travel an hour to make a counseling appointment.

Reason, she felt, to try to secure additional federal funds


Tyler Lopez

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