Mike Sanders - Housing and Homeless Coordinator in Fairbanks, AK

 

Mike Sanders serves as the Housing and Homeless Coordinator for Fairbanks, Arkansas. His office submitted these responses to the American Opioid Podcast on 11/4/2019 5:46 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 connect them with the Fairbanks Opioid Work Group.

 

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

There are several components to reducing fentanyl overdoses including: law enforcement, harm reduction programs, medication assisted treatments, Narcan distribution, and prevention efforts.

 

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?

Several local organizations have received support for programs and projects for combating opioid abuse. Our city has been fortunate and has been able to mitigate many of the opioid related issues.

 

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?

I don't feel that this is a legislative issue as much as it is a cultural issue. In the 80s and 90s there was a huge push to get people to quit smoking and to prevent kids from starting. It was wildly successful and I believe a huge national push about opioids could yield similar results.