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New report offers "healing approach" to opioid epidemic

Flickr User Ajay Suresh

There’s a new way of looking at the opioid epidemic in Michigan that goes beyond numbers and statistics.

The Washtenaw County health department has issued a new report intended to take a “healing approach" to the problem.

It’s called “the Healing Forest “ and is based on dozens of conversations with people in various stages of dealing with opioid addiction. Washtenaw County epidemiologist Adrianne Waller authored the report and says the name and focus of the report comes from the Native American “wellbriety” movement.

"A comprehensive community approach that not just heals a single issue, but also cultivates a whole community and culture that is focused on recovery and wellness"

Recovery and wellness that came from many different conversations and learning that opioid addiction comes from addiction problems itself as well as mental illness.  She says local law enforcement officials interviewed for the report said “you can’t put handcuffs on addiction.”