Opioid forum open to public: Community input sought to develop solutions to crisis

By: 
Lauren Clark, Contributing Writer

KALKASKA – Life’s Work Clinic and Harm Reduction MI invite the public to a community forum and panel discussion regarding opioid addiction. The “Opioid Overdose Epidemic: In Search of Solutions” will take place Monday, July 1 from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Kalkaska County Senior Center.

Community leaders, health care professionals and addiction specialists will be at the forum to provide information, as well as an opportunity for community members to take an active role to reduce opioid overdoses.

Adam DeVaney of Life’s Work Clinic hopes to help reduce the stigma associated with opioid addiction by engaging with the Kalkaska community. He also aims to expand the network of service providers and solicit ideas from local residents who may be able to provide insight on this area’s needs.

DeVaney invites anyone with an interest in changing the outcomes and treatment strategies for those affected to attend the forum on July 1. The event organizers especially encourage attendance by those currently or formerly addicted to opioids, as their perspectives and experiences are deeply valued.

The State of Michigan has recently undergone a decline in the number of legal opioid prescriptions being written to patients due to the pressure being placed on physicians and pharmaceutical companies. However, the number of opioid overdose deaths has increased dramatically. Deaths attributed to opioids have shifted from primarily prescription pill abuse to more unpredictable and dangerous substances such as heroin and fentanyl.

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