Pain and confusion for kids with behavior problems

Mel Blair, special ed director at Thorp and Easton school districts

Updated on 4/18/19.

Children described their pain and confusion at the punitive methods used by teachers, caregivers and law enforcement to control their behavioral challenges in the documentary “The Kids We Lose.

About 80 people attended the 90-minute screening at Morgan Middle School on Saturday, followed by a discussion session led by Mel Blair, special education director at Thorp and Easton school districts.

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“We’re a society of addiction.”

Panel discusses opioid addiction in Kittitas County

UPDATED 3/22/19: The addicted are our neighbors, our friends, and our family members.

“Statistically, emergency room care is ten times as expensive as going to see your primary care physician and about 10% as effective overall in terms of outcomes. So you’re talking about the most expensive, least effective kind of healthcare when you access 911 and go to the emergency room [for addiction issues]…If we stop pretending like this is somebody else’s problem…[If we] recognize the true cost of opioid addiction, work backwards and apply what we’re already spending on [some] real solutions; we’re going to be a lot further ahead, both in terms of the outcomes and actual dollars spent.”

Rich Elliott, Kittitas Valley Fire and Rescue

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Learn about opioids in Kittitas County

Panel discussion: Opioid Crisis in Kittitas County – How Are We Handling It?:

Wednesday, March 20, 2019, 7-9 p.m. at Hal Holmes Center, 209 N. Ruby St., Ellensburg

We’ll have a panel of experts to explain what addiction is, why opioids are so dangerous, and what community groups, law enforcement and the courts are doing to make a difference.

On our panel:
Rich Elliott, deputy chief with Kittitas Valley Fire and Rescue, moderator
Ken Wade, police chief, Ellensburg Police department
Dr. John Asriel, Community Health of Central Washington
Emily Nelson, Merit Resource Services, clinical supervisor
Kim Hitchcock, Triumph Treatment Services
Emily Brown, Merit Treatment Services and drug court coordinator

After the speakers make their presentations, audience members may submit questions. The forum will be video-taped and shown later on ECTV. This event is free of charge and is co-sponsored by the Kittitas Valley League of Women Voters and the Ellensburg Public Library.

For more information about the event, please email the League at kittitasinfo@gmail.com.

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