Our Opioid Addiction Learning Curve

By Joy Portella, President, Minerva Strategies—

Minerva Strategies has been working with our client Evergreen Treatment Services (ETS), which provides medication-assisted treatment for people in Western Washington who struggle with opioid addiction, for more than one year. I’ll admit that we knew embarrassingly little about this topic when we first got involved with ETS. I could tell you more about malaria in Uganda than I could about heroin use in Seattle.

We have learned a tremendous amount in the interim about how opioid dependence is a chronic medical condition, and how rates of opioid addiction have skyrocketed in the past decade due to the availability of cheap, potent heroin, and the lax prescription of opioid-based painkillers. We learned that medication-assisted treatment is proven to be the best way to get people off of heroin and other harmful opioids – and keep them off. Most important, we learned about the courage and dedication of people who work tirelessly to overcome opioid dependence.

This week our friends at ETS penned an opinion piece for The Seattle Times about the epidemic of opioid addiction, and the need for an integrated approach, including increased availability of the opioid antidote naloxone but also critical treatment and prevention programs. They’re smart folks working at the frontlines of treatment, and we encourage you to read the piece and learn about this vicious epidemic – and what can be done to stop it.

About The Author

Sara Veltkamp

Sara Veltkamp

Vice President

Sara lives in New Orleans, Louisiana and is Minerva's vice president. She takes a lead role in all aspects of Minerva Strategies’ smart communication strategies and implementation. She loves a challenge and is obsessed with learning new things, from how to use new platforms and tools for storytelling to languages like Amharic, French, or Farsi to mastering a difficult yoga pose. She applies this energy and curiosity to all clients’ communication challenges. Learn more about Sara.