DA-elect aims to prioritize mental health, substance abuse

Lancaster

LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — Lancaster County’s district attorney-elect says her office will be prioritizing mental health and substance abuse for the following year.

County leaders revealed Friday how they plan to tackle the issues.

Heather Adams says she’s going to be regularly involved with two groups that combat the opioid crisis now that the funding for the county’s drug task force has been finalized.

“The proposed match funding concept is a substantial increase by the county and is certainly a workable solution for 2020 with the continued support of the municipalities,” Adams said.

Lancaster County leaders united to share there is a solution to fund the drug task force next year. The county will match nearly $520,000 of what municipalities give in addition to the $100,000 it usually contributes.

“Together, all that we believe will be a sustainable model at least through this coming year and the district attorney-elect Adams says she’s going to be reviewing everything about the drug task force,” county commissioner Josh Parsons said.

The new year brings new leaders, including Adams. She says she’s committed to helping MISA, which stands for mental illness substance abuse. The group aims to help local inmates.

“The district attorney’s office will joining the mission of MISA and will regularly participate in those meetings starting in January,” Adams said.

Another change is a close partnership with Joining Forces: a recovery-oriented organization that takes a trauma-informed approach to prevent overdoses.

“I just recently attended a Joining Forces steering committee meeting and we identified a number of areas where the district attorney’s office can provide assistance,” Adams said.

This cooperation is noteworthy because the outgoing DA Craig Stedman was always battling with the board to get more money for the drug task force.

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