Rimrock Foundation in Billings grateful for spotlight on drug abuse granted by Pence visit

Posted at 7:28 PM, Jun 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-10 23:40:44-04

BILLINGS – The head of the Rimrock Foundation says she hopes Vice President Mike Pence’s upcoming visit to Billings will shine a spotlight on the problem of drug abuse in the area.

Lenette Kawsavich, Rimrock’s CEO, told MTN News Monday, that meth use is on the rise, but the nonprofit is realizing on a federal level that there are more drugs out there that are causing devastation beyond to our communities.

“Some of the ways we are seeing the feds react to recognizing there are other drugs. (Former Attorney General Jeff) Sessions over a year ago, he came to talk about the opioid epidemic, but in a personal conversation, we got to talk about some of the things that really cause us concern here in Montana. Having Vice President Pence here really shines a light on the true depth of this problem,” Kawsavich said.

Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence will return to the Treasure State Wednesday at the invitation of U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., to see firsthand Montana’s meth crisis.

The vice president will meet privately with stakeholders, local law enforcement, and other federal officials as they focus on a three-pronged approach to combating Montana’s meth crisis, according to a release from his office.

That approach? Treatment, prevention and enforcement.

The Rimrock Foundation, an adult inpatient treatment program here in Billings is part of the Substance Abuse Coalition and will join the vice president on Wednesday.

The Pences will arrive around noon Wednesday at Billings Logan International Airport.

He will be joined on Air Force Two by fellow Republicans Daines and U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte of Montana.

Pence will then travel by motorcade to Riverstone Health Clinic and get a briefing from the High-intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force and the Yellowstone Substance Abuse Coalition.

After he delivers remarks he will go to Willow Way, a group home for patients struggling with addiction.

Later, he will attend a fundraising event for Daines, who is up for re-election in 2020.

Reporting by Zoe Zandora for MTN News