Two churches plan forums on county’s opioid crisis

Abuse of addictive prescription pain pills and other opioids, as well as deaths from overdoses, are plaguing our nation, our state and local communities. In 2018 nearly 200 Americans every day died from drug overdoses.

What are the consequences of opioid use and abuse in Anderson County? What are the overt and hidden costs to our local communities?

To begin to address our need for local understanding of this mental health issue and public health crisis, two Oak Ridge churches – First Presbyterian and Oak Valley Baptist – will co-sponsor a public forum on three Sunday afternoons in September on the crisis of drug addiction in Anderson County.

The forum sessions will be held at 1:30 p.m. Sunday in the fellowship hall of the Sanctuary building at First Presbyterian Church, 1051 Oak Ridge Turnpike, on the corner of Lafayette Avenue.

David Clark, district attorney general of Anderson County, will speak on Sept. 8 on criminal justice and the opioid epidemic.

On Sept. 15, Jennie Jobe, court director of Morgan County Residential Recovery Court, and two MCRRC residents will speak on recovery from opioid addiction, and David Compton, board member of Mimi’s Place, Inc., will describe services available to grandparents raising grandchildren because of the effects of drug addiction on the generation between.

The medical aspects of addiction, detox, recovery and overdose will be discussed on Sept. 22 by Michael Yates, director of development of Ridgeview Behavioral Health Services, and Catherine Brunson, regional overdose prevention specialist of Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP) of Anderson County.