BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) – The Bay County Sheriff’s Office is working to change the lives of those struggling with drug addiction in the area with their new care coordinator positions.
Care Coordinator Mckenzie Galbreath began her career in the Bay County Sheriff’s Office in 2019 as a part-time analyst. She was working to map the overdoses in the area when she said the opportunity had presented itself to her.
“Helping people is definitely my passion, and I am able to put my degree to good use, as well as my knowledge of addiction and overdose victims,” she said.
In her work, she uses her expertise in psychology and is able to meet the people behind the numbers.
“I would overdose and notice I was seeing the same names over and over again,” Galbreath said.
Now she can directly fix the problem.
“It’s really nice to put a face to a name and a number,” she said. “It’s not a statistic anymore, it’s a person.”
Galbreath offers services to those who wish to seek help with their addiction issues.
“I think the most rewarding part is seeing people feel like they have no hope and then go into treatment and have a total of 180 in their life,” she said.
Her clients are all types of people from all walks of life. More recently, she helped some passing community members after MPs had to remove them from a property they were entering.
“We contacted five people and two agreed to services the next day,” she said.
Galbreath also said statistics now show a decrease in overdoses in the region compared to the last quarter and a 29% decrease in deaths.
Ultimately, Galbreath’s goal is to have an overdose response team that will be made up of mental health experts, addiction experts and probation officers to curb the trend. Galbreath hopes the team will be able to raise awareness in schools to prevent more children from making bad choices earlier in life.