Jamie Horner - Police Social Worker in Naperville, IL

 

Jamie Horner serves the city of Naperville, Illinois as a Police Social Worker for the Naperville Police Department. Her office submitted these responses to the American Opioid Podcast on 11/4/2019 3:37 PM.

If a resident in your city visited your office and said that he or she had some spare time and wanted to volunteer to help alleviate the opioid crisis, what kinds of activities would you recommend?

I would recommend attending local community events that spread awareness of substance use disorders. This could include various fundraisers, open support groups, educational forums, etc. To help alleviate the crisis, education is key for individuals to understand the concerns in their community. This will also help fight stigma and provide positive community support to a generally negatively viewed population.

 

Recently, many overdoses are increasingly due to fentanyl. What can cities do to protect against this newest threat to public health?

Offer educational services to individuals suffering from substance use disorders. This can include harm reduction practices, such as providing testing strips and naloxone for individuals and their families. We can also emphasize the importance of safe use practices, such as not using alone, not purchasing substances from a new or unknown source, etc.

 

How much support has your city received from federal and state government public health agencies, opioid safety coalitions, elected officials, and nonprofit organizations or foundations?

A lot. We are very lucky to be able to have several local organizations, non-for-profits and support services assist in our efforts in the Naperville community. We also have support from the federal government through a grant to assist individuals to seek treatment that may have limited financial resources.

 

If you had a magic wand that allowed you to pass any legislation you wanted in order to help alleviate the opioid crisis in your state, what would that legislation look like?

Limits in opioids being prescribed by physicians. Limits should include the amount, frequency, strength, and the use of alternative treatments. All those prescribed opioids should be required to receive educational information regarding the drugs and ongoing support throughout the prescription.

 

Are there any additional resources your department could use that would help alleviate the crisis in your city?

Awareness. We would love to have more awareness of the efforts we can provide so that individuals and families effected by substance use disorders can request help. We would also like less stigma about asking for help, especially asking a local police department since past involvement may have looked differently than supportive interventions.