MTPR

drugs


The dialogue around substance abuse and mental health disorders, when it happens at all, is often shrouded in shame, blame and guilt. An event in Missoula this weekend is aiming to change that, and also to celebrate people in recovery. 

Kirsten Pabst at the U.S. Attorney's Office in Missoula on July 19, 2018.
Maxine Speier

Last year the city of Missoula had 324 violent crimes, an increase of nearly 50 percent since 2011. Law enforcement say the meth epidemic is to blame, and Thursday announced that they’re addressing it with a local, state and federal partnership.

Missoula's Community Medical Center.
Courtesy

When Missoula’s not-for-profit Community Hospital was sold to a for-profit company three years ago, by law the proceeds from that sale had to be invested in a community foundation.

That $100 million investment is now starting to spin out grants aimed at improving health care for western Montana’s children and families. Edward O’Brien has more on the new Headwaters Foundation’s funding priorities.

Jennifer Munger holds a sign protesting state health deparment cuts in Helena, March 1, 2018. Munger says she's recently sober and want's other people with substance abuse issues to be able to get the same treatment she had.
Corin Cates-Carney

Access to mental health services and addiction treatment, something that has never been great in Montana, could see a significant funding reduction next month as the state health department reduces its substance disorder services.

"If I wouldn’t have had that I probably wouldn’t be alive today. They saved my life," Jennifer Munger says.

Shards of methamphetamine hydrochloride, also known as crystal meth.
Radspunk (GFDL)

Montana’s health department is now sharing with prosecutors results of drug toxicology tests conducted on children suspected to have been exposed to drugs. The Department previously didn’t comply with this state law because they said doing so would jeopardize federal funding.

Health Department Director Sheila Hogan gave regional Child and Family Services supervisors Tuesday the go-ahead to share those toxicology reports with county attorneys.

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