MARQUETTE — Local law enforcement and officials have come together lately to bring awareness to the drug problems our community faces. Today, a local organization brought health officials together for that same purpose.
Addiction is usually discussed in reference to a criminal act, however at today’s presentation local health professionals and community members got to hear a different perspective. The guest speaker says to think of people who face addiction as someone with a disease instead, to better treat them and get them on the path to recovery.
Guest Speaker Kevin McCauley says, “When we consider it a disease, then we can use a lot of the same thinking that we for other chronic diseases to solve this problem. So I think the model of addiction being a disease is more fruitful when it comes to helping people.”
Officials from Room at the Inn, Marquette’s homeless shelter, spearheaded the planning for the event and was able to make it happen thanks to local sponsors.
Executive Director for the warming center, Doug Russell says that it was a “viable opportunity” to have speakers come to discuss different perspectives.
“Addiction is a disease, and needs to be treated as such,” Russell added, “and so you do treat people differently is they’re a patient as opposed to being and inmate, and that’s really what we’re looking at. The idea of trying to eliminate the moral component from the conversation.”
Three presentations were planned for the day, one in the morning, afternoon and night – that way health professionals, community members and students were able to attend.