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Local

Grant will help Whiteside County do more to fight opioid abuse

STERLING — The Whiteside County Health Department has expanded its behavioral health services after receiving $167,000 in federal funds to address the ongoing opioid epidemic.

More than 15 lives countywide have been lost due to the opioid epidemic since 2016, according to data from the Illinois Department of Human Services.

The money from the Integrated Behavioral Health Services grant already is being put to use: The department has hired a Spanish-speaking licensed clinical social worker and a registered nurse who will assist with medication treatment for patients who need intensive case management.

The end result of the grant?

“It will increase access to care, so we can offer more service, more individual therapy, more group therapy, and see more patients with substance abuse,” Beth Fiorini, public health administrator and CEO for the Whiteside County Health Department, said.

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