Opioid Symposiums to Tackle 'Pervasive' Problem

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TERRE HAUTE -

The organizer of four upcoming opioid epidemic symposiums says the focus of the gatherings in White, Wabash, Daviess and Putnam counties is "illumination." Indiana Rural Health Association Network Development Officer Deena Dodd calls the crisis pervasive, but the symposiums she says, could be a catalyst for strategic discussions in communities of all sizes. The July and August events are a partnership between the IRHA and the nonprofit, agricultural leadership-focused AgrIInstitute, and will bring together public, service provider, law enforcement and health care representatives.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Dodd said Hoosiers are struggling with how close to home the epidemic is hitting. "As rural Hoosiers, we all like to say 'that doesn't happen here,' but unfortunately, this epidemic has crossed all boundaries," she said. "There's no wrong conversation, no wrong time for dialogue." Dodd says multiple communities have already broached the subject and can serve as resources. A previous event in Boone County attracted what organizers described as a standing room-only crowd, spurring the IRHA and AgrIInstitute to bring the conversations to more places.

AgrIInstitute Executive Director Beth Archer says knowledge is key. "An important step in resolving this crisis is becoming better informed citizens," she said. "That means becoming better informed about what each of us can do in our homes, in our communities, in our workplaces, in our churches, and elsewhere, so healthy living can again be possible for those whom we care about."

The first symposium is slated for July 10 at the White County Fairgrounds near Reynolds. The next will be July 26 at the Heartland REMC facilities in Wabash, July 31 at Eastside Park in Washington and August 2 at the C Bar C Expo Center in Cloverdale. You can connect to more about the symposiums by clicking here.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Dodd said Hoosiers are struggling with how close to home the epidemic is hitting.
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