Why are you trying to save an addict? That’s a question Northfield Hospital EMS Director Brian Edwards has heard as he discussed the use of Narcan, the drug that counteracts the effects of an opioid overdose. Edwards said, “we have a legal, moral and ethical responsibility to do this. You can’t treat someone’s addiction if they’re dead”. They wouldn’t tell a heart attack victim, we’re not going to treat you because you made a poor choice. The idea is to give these people a second chance, or more, if they need. Dr. Jennifer Fischer commented that
there are people who have been on brink and are now leading productive lives. It may take several attempts at treatment, you can’t predict which time will work. Fischer added that she’d like to see a more robust effort to help those who come out of treatment. While she appreciates AA, NA and the like, she believes they also need a middle ground. After treatment, addicts feel good, “and then come right back into the same situation. There hasn’t been enough time for learning the new skills that you’re going to need to avoid that temptation”. Fischer commented on the over-prescribing of pain medication and the need to find better ways to address pain. Both her and Edwards agreed that there’s a need for better education of physicians and the public on opioid addiction. Edwards added, “In my opinion this is a public health emergency, a public health crisis and we need to treat it as such”. Their entire interview is online at kymnradio.net.
Northfield building projects big and small
Recovery from the recession has taken time but Northfield is bouncing back. Of course, The Crossings hotel project is likely the most visible. St. Olaf and Carleton have both had significant projects. Community Development director Chris Heineman, “we’ve had over 100 subcontractors in town for over a year working on the Carlton Weitz projects”. The Weitz Center addition is near completion, they’re finishing up inside work and should be ready to open before the school year begins. Northfield single family home building hasn’t seen a robust return as some communities. The City is averaging between 25 and 30 units per year since 2012. That’s a fraction of what they saw in the early 2000’s. In 2005 and 2006, Heineman says, the City was closer to 100 to 130 units per year. There’s renewed interest in subdivisions. Heineman said the 8th addition to The Hills of Spring Creek will be coming before Council July 11th. He said, “and that would be another small section right on the east side along Hall Ave./Spring Creek Rd. Then the other subdivision that we’ve been looking at are near the Spring Creek Townhomes on the south side”. I’ll have more tomorrow on multi-family building, what may or may not be happening.
Another Top Ten for Northfield
Northfield made another top ten list. Kiplinger’s put Northfield 6th in a list of best places to retire. When ticking off desirable features for places to live, millennials and retirees have a lot in common. Affordable homes, a selection of good restaurants, a vibrant arts scene, lots of outdoor recreation and a strong network of doctors and good health care facilities. Between the colleges and the Northfield Arts Guild, they produce more than 100 events a year and hold 40 art classes every week. Our live music, Bridge Square, Riverwalk Market Fair, craft breweries, a cider house and a distillery score high points as does the Cannon River. The downside is Minnesota taxes.