Special town forum set to bring education in midst of opioid epidemic

Published 8:23 pm Friday, July 21, 2017

Although the state of Tennessee saw a drastic decrease in the use of opioid and non-prescription pain relievers from 2006 to 2010, use of opioids is rising yet again, pushing the state’s numbers higher than the percentage of the total U.S.
Second only to alcohol, opioids are in the top most abused substance in Tennessee.
With these daunting statistics looming, Jilian Reece, Director of the Carter County Drug Prevention Coalition, is working with others to educate the public of the seriousness of the problem.
“We are seeing that we are no longer talking about the perception of a drug addict that many of us have always assumed, but this is instead something that is impacting families of all ages, races and demographics,” Reece said.
In an effort to educate the public, a forum is scheduled for August 1st beginning at 6:30 p.m. at T.A. Dugger Junior High School. Presentations will be given until 8 p.m. with a question and answer session and ice cream social to follow. Several community agencies will also be present to give the public opportunities to become more involved in fighting Tennessee’s opioid problem.
According to Reece, Dr. Danny Smith of Physical Therapy Services is behind the forum. He is responsible for generating speakers who are respected and experienced in the field of addiction.
The public is strongly encouraged to attend the forum.
“Anyone with an interest in the opioid problem in our community will benefit from the presentations,” Reece said. “Anyone in the medical field or even patients anticipating medical procedures associated with pain in recovery will benefit from a discussion around physical therapy and other evidence-based pain control without utilizing opioids.”
“Parents, teachers and youth-serving organizations will walk away with a new understanding of addiction, how it happens and hopefully realize that prevention starts early and happens often in order to be most effective,” she added.

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