A Few Miles East: Counties Approaches to Opiate Epidemic

Pamela Lynch & Shaun Anchak

“If she were convicted a few miles East ” is a line out of recent local press coverage of a five county area in Northwest lower Michigan, and how differently these five counties handle their drug cases. “Data from this 5 county area of Northwest Michigan, (Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, and Leelanau Counties), highlights Benzie County’s unique approach to prosecuting drug cases.” The story is about a “25 year old heroin addict, whose Benzie County address likely gave her more shots at recovery than others in the region.” The Traverse City Record Eagle observes that the protagonist of the article’s “multiple chances were a function of where she lived.” This session will be led by the clinician and national expert on opiate use disorder and overdose prevention, and the Benzie county probation officer together. It will be interactive, as this is a story that can be told all across America today; people have a need to discuss and interject their common experiences.

Pamela Lynch

Pam Lynch, LMSW, CAADC serves on the Board of the Benzie Recovery Court Foundation, of Benzie County, Michigan. Ms. Lynch is a licensed clinician with over 25 years work in addiction. She was also employed as trainer for Chicago Recovery Alliance in 1999-2002, when that organization started the first opiate overdose prevention program in the U.S. She co-directs a small community based organization (Harm Reduction Michigan), is employed as a clinician for Northern Lakes Community Mental Health, the Grand Traverse County behavioral health authority, and is adjunct professor for Grand Valley State University.

Shaun Anchak

Mr. Anchak has been employed as a probation officer for the Michigan Department of Corrections for 22 years, and serves on the Benzie Recovery Court Foundation.

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