Substance Free Initiative Addresses Drug Abuse Problem In Grand Traverse Region

A Northern Michigan initiative is looking to address the growing drug abuse problem in the five county Grand Traverse Region.

The Substance Free Initiative of Northwest Michigan had a meeting Monday that brought together agencies and individuals from Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, and Leelanau counties.

Law enforcement, medical staff, educators and more came together to try to help with solutions to the growing epidemic.

The initiative is made of five groups that believe the problem can be addressed more effectively if the area counties all share information and work together.

 “A large percentage of our crime these days now revolves around illegal drug use,” says Grand Traverse County Prosecuting Attorney Bob Cooney. “It’s not just the dealer who is selling drugs on the street anymore. What we’re seeing more is that it’s the home invasions, the breaking and entering of a building, the retail frauds from our local merchants, all fueled by the need to support heroin addiction or other narcotic drug addiction. If we can reduce the substance abuse problem, we can reduce crime overall, and have a real impact upon the amount of crime that we’re seeing.”

For more information on the Substance Free Initiative, email healthyliving@unitedwaynwmi.org

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