See our feature in the APNC Newsletter
Thursday, December 8th, 2016 at College Park Baptist Church, adjacent to UNCG’s campus, 75 community members assembled to discuss action steps and solutions surrounding opioid addiction and recovery. Each of these attendants (public officials, community leaders, and tax payers) were in some way personally affected by the disease of addiction. Like every disease, addiction does not discriminate. Like every disease, treatment and solutions are required and actively sought after.
This event specifically, was Part II of an ongoing series for the community named the Solutions Series. Focused around Naloxone and its overdose reversing action, Chase Holleman from Caring Services demonstrated the use of Naloxone to 75 community members. Seventy-five additional people now can save the life of a person at risk of overdosing. Incredible. This was accompanied with a presentation and short film reviewing the benefits and statistics of Naloxone, revealing the difficulty of accessing this life saver and the cost associated with it. Holleman presented this obstacle to the audience, “What can we do as community members to make this more accessible?” “What can we do from here?”
Gathering into groups of eight, each pod collaborated with its members; with strangers, to come up with solutions to a mutual concern. Not only were solutions discussed, but a sense of empowerment and community was developed between attendants that were unfamiliar with each other only five minutes before. Several individuals signed up for a task force to help implement some of the action steps discussed: Availability on college campuses, Naloxone access billboard, debunking the stigma and myths of addiction, social media advertisement, fundraising, contacting government and health officials, etc.
The goal of this on-going series, presented by Triad Behavioral Resources and New Vision Therapy, PLLC, partnered with Addiction Professionals of North Carolina, UNCG Collegiate Recovery Program, and Caring Services, is to raise awareness, educate, and engage the community. Additionally, the Solution Series is envisioned to be an opportunity for all facets of the community to join together hospitals, law enforcement, EMS, lawyers, treatment centers, professionals, and community leaders and stop the stigma of addiction. The goal of the Solution Series continues to be to join the community together and provide treatment and solutions to a pervasive disease that spares few.