Group announces "Collective Response" against opioid crisis in Roanoke Valley

Published: Sep. 26, 2018 at 6:23 PM EDT
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Groups in the Roanoke Valley are coming together to help put a stop to the opioid crisis.

The county schools, police, Carilion Clinic and others have agreed to work together to combat this epidemic in the Roanoke Valley.

Danny Gilbert finds himself speaking up more these days because he's all too familiar with the opioid crisis.

Danny Gilbert said, “I don't want my daughter's death to be in vain.”

We met him last October. His daughter, Jordan, died after being addicted to opiates.

“A lot of kids are out there struggling,” he said. “A lot of kids need help.

It's why he was at this morning's announcement.”

Janine Underwood, Bradley Free Clinic Executive Director, said, “Addiction is a complex problem that requires a complex solution.”

It's called the "Collective Response,” and it's an undertaking spearheaded by the Hope Initiative and the Drug Task Force. It's something Janine Underwood has been waiting for.

Underwood said, “Individually, everyone has been fighting this battle and doing a great job, but it's not enough.”

Dr. Kimberly Horn, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, said, “We need to share what we're good at and we need to share some of our most valued resources like funding and money.”

The goal of the group is to share information, best practices and resources between all groups fighting this crisis -- including Carilion Clinic.

Robert Trestman, Professor, Chair of Psychiatry Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, said, “It requires us to partner with everyone who is willing and able to partner with us.”

Gilbert said, “The people that were up there are very influential people. They're the people that's going to help with this crisis.”

The hope is to improve treatment quality and the number of options. For parents like Danny, that can't come soon enough.

“I had hope that finally we're getting the right people aboard,” said Gilbert.

Janine Underwood mentioned that they'll be meeting once a month, and by having all of these groups together, they'll have an easier time asking for and receiving money to fight the epidemic.