‘Listening Event’ focuses on substance abuse and treatment

Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank and concerned citizen Patricia Adkins are hosting the second in a series of planned community listening events at the Clinton Community Center from 6 - 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, April 25.

The event will focus on receiving community comments about opiate abuse, addiction issues and/or treatment, and any concern surrounding substance abuse issues in the community. Everyone is invited to attend.

The first listening event was held in Rocky Top April 3. “Our goal is to listen to the ideas and concerns concerning substance abuse and addiction. We feel extremely positive from the feedback we received at our first event in Rocky Top,” said Mayor Frank. “There seemed to be consensus at our first event that citizen groups are very impactful, and a lot of great ideas were presented from a variety of perspectives. In the face of such epidemic, it was an encouraging time together.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drug overdoses now account for more deaths in the U.S. than motor vehicle accidents, with 52-percent attributed to prescription medications.

“After our first listening event in Rocky Top, I’m even more inspired to hear from people in our community. There is a lot of public heart for the issue, and I’m optimistic as we continue this conversation in other communities, that we are going to be able to find shared cares and concerns and from there, translate these shared cares and concerns into positive action. I’m looking forward to our time in Clinton,” said Mrs. Adkins.

Patricia Adkins approached Mayor Frank asking what people in the community could do to address the addiction epidemic. The listening event is an effort to facilitate the best paths forward for community involvement. A report on community feedback will be issued after the series of listening events.

“We’ve got a lot of folks like law enforcement and prevention organizations, as well as mental health organizations, who are working very hard on the issue. If the community can further partner with these groups or even come up with its own community project(s), we can continue turning back the tide and make a real difference in the lives and future of our families, friends, and neighbors,” said Mayor Frank.