“Turning Point” for Opioid Addiction in Muskegon County

With highest number of opioid overdose deaths in the State of Michigan (52 in 2014-15, 30.09 per 100,000 people) and 8th in the nation, Muskegon County needs additional resources to be an effective solution for the opiate addiction issue here. The Salvation Army Turning Point Program will be coming to Muskegon this month  to “empower people to overcome additions and reconnect with life by providing person-centered holistic healing.
”The Turning Point program has been based out of Grand Rapids and currently assists those struggling with addiction from Muskegon,” said Nancy Oliver, “but they’ve formed a partnership with the Muskegon Salvation Army Corps to open a facility  here in Muskegon County. When opening the local facility, services will begin with outpatient counseling, grow towards having an intensive outpatient program and possibly medication assisted treatment as well.
In Kent County, Turning Point is Joint Commission Accredited, providing services such as sub-acute detoxification, short-term residential treatment, co-occurring assessment and TX, intensive stabilization, training for opiate overdose prevention, family programming and medication assisted treatment. The program is evidence-based to focus on healthy and alternative choices to addiction.

Turning Point serves a mix of pay groups from all over West Michigan.  At this time, their focus is on adults 18 years of age and older. They served 150 admis-sions per month and up to 8 daily as well as 90% utilization of men’s residential.  Of those reaching out for services, 48% is for opiate addiction, 35% for alcohol and 17% other substances.

            For some in the audience, opioid addiction seemed a new issue, one only recently brought “out of the closet” by the news media and maybe pharmaceutical manufacturers and medical practitioners. With his vast experience over the years,
Dr Don Crandall offered a brief opioid summary, which included some of the following points:
Although opioid medications effectively treat acute pain and help relieve chronic pain for some patients, their addiction risk presents a dilemma for healthcare providers who seek to relieve suffering while preventing drug abuse and addiction.  Using opioids, especially in a way not prescribed by a doctor and especially when they are cut with illegal substances from “drug pushers,” can cause addiction.

Even infrequent use can lead to physical dependence. Habitual opioid use initiates changes in the brain, specifically in the pain center, and this generally brings on addiction.

            As the opiate issue continues to rise in Muskegon County, the Salvation Army Turning Point Program is going to be another life changing solution for our community.  As they open their doors in Muskegon, they are doing so on a small basis due to limited funding.  Robin Henshaw Hard, Muskegon Corps Development Director asked Rotary members, if they knew of local leaders who might could invest in the Turning Point Program, to please let her know. The help is needed and will continue to improve the lives of those in our local community.        The program Thursday was one of two on the opioid addiction crisis here and around the country.  An even more comprehensive presentation will take place at Rotary on January 25, featuring County Prosecutor DJ Hilson and Muskegon Police Chief Jeff Lewis.
For questions and additional information, feel free to contact: , , or

Return to News