Generous citizens addressing substance abuse in Kalkaska County

By: 
Stephanie Malcolm

KALKASKA — Like many local communities in northern Michigan, Kalkaska County is not alone in its struggle against substance abuse and addictions.

This can have a devastating effect on both the family and the one suffering with the addiction.
One local organization is helping in the fight against substance abuse disorder. Live Well Kalkaska Substance Free Coalition works at eliminating the stigma associated with substance abuse by providing education, making connections, and offering support to those (and their families) who suffer from substance abuse problems. The vision of the coalition is to help educate the community and work on breaking down barriers that so often hinder success in addressing substance abuse disorder.
Suzanne Prentice, coordinator at Live Well Kalkaska Substance Free Coalition says the coalition began seven and half years ago, where they worked closely with the Kalkaska Health Department. Several years ago, there was a local survey that was aimed at pinpointing the biggest struggles in Kalkaska County, which was substance abuse. Live Well is working in addressing this problem. According to Prentice, “we are working as our own entity with a boost from the health department to address the
substance abuse in Kalkaska County.”
Live Well provides support and assistance in several ways for the families suffering with substance abuse disorder. The coalition helps families facilitate successful transitions and fight against narcotics. One such way are the Narcan bags that are offered to inmates leaving jail in the case of opioid overdose.
Live Well also helps those and their families affected by substance abuse addictions in Kalkaska County through a monthly Zoom meeting that is open to the public called “Coffee with the Coalition” Facebook page. Meetings are from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on the last Tuesday of the month with speakers coming in on different topics. Also, additional information can be found at the Farmers Market on Tuesdays from 2-6 p.m.

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