Opioid panel discusses deadly addiction

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Bill Rose, Executive Director of the Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, said “One of the barriers for addicts getting help is stigma, and what we wanted to do is begin a conversation with this community.”

The Community Foundation and the Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse got a panel of doctors and addiction specialists together for Lets Talk About: The Opioid Crisis, a panel that packed the Robinson Film Center and was live streamed on facebook.

A big part of the opioid crisis is how far it reaches. Rose said “Usually there are pockets of people that are affected by a specific drug.” 

But that isn’t the case with opioids which spread across all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds. It began with doctors over-prescribing opioids.

Rose said “Prescription runs out, they can’t get it filled anymore so a lot of people that were never exposed to street drugs have turned from prescription medication to elicit substances such as heroin.”

Whether it’s prescribed or bought on the streets, opioids can easily lead to overdoses and substance abuse counselors are looking for any way to help their patients.

Rose said “We are state contractors so we can even provide treatment services for the uninsured population.” 

Dr. Robert Jackson is the Medical Director for the MLK Health Center and said “Treatment works. People can lead happy, healthy, productive lives after appropriate treatment.”

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