MARION (WSIL) -- More than 68,000 people died from drug overdoses last year. A new facility in Marion has been designed to help slow down the problem in our region.
Drug addiction can happen to anybody.
"It's not respective of economic status. It's not respective of color. It's not respective of any segment that you can think of," Centerstone CEO John Markley said. "It happens to everybody in our community."
Centerstone's Medication Assisted Treatment site in Marion opened earlier this year to combat the problem.
"And what it's doing is it's addressing the chemical imbalances created by an opioid addiction, and it's also working with individuals and giving them support in the community to help them manage these addictions and to work through them successfully," Markley said.
Markley said the site is the first of its kind in southern Illinois, offering a number of services combined with drug treatment that will ease people while they're detoxing.
Markley said it gives people an option for treatment that's closer to home.
"We had 25 people that were on a waiting list 2.5 hours away. We also had individuals that were coming here that were receiving services in Cicero. So the accessibility issue for people in our community, when they need it, is a really big issue," Markley said
Some funding comes from state and federal grant money.
"When you make the investment, you want to see where the money is going to and is it going to be successful," U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, (R) Murphysboro, said. "These programs are very, very successful."
Bost and U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, (R) Collinsville, toured the facility Friday, and Markley said their votes in favor of the SUPPORT Act help Centerstone as well.
"That allows us to work with telehealth. So for people who have difficulty in transportation, often times in rural areas they have those difficulties, so we're able to maybe work with people from their homes," Markley said.
Lawmakers passed the SUPPORT Act in 2018, opening up Medicaid services for people dealing with opioid addictions.
Markley said if lawmakers continue to work on the drug epidemic, more people will stay on the path to recovery.
The MAT facility is located at 202 Bentley in Marion. For more information, contact 1-855-608-3560 or visit centerstone.org.