The opioid epidemic is not confined to a particular area, gender or race. As a matter of fact, it is a cruel reality that many local residents have experienced the loss of a loved one due to this growing issue.
Statistics for the surrounding area will be presented during the 3rd Annual Mental Health Symposium that will be focused on “Conquering the Opioid Epidemic” and will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 30, from 5 to 8:30 p.m. This free event will take place at the Camp Community College Regional Workforce Development Center, 100 N. College Drive, Franklin, and is sponsored by Camp in partnership with the Franklin-Southampton County Wellness Coalition.
“We want to raise awareness among parents and the community that this is a local problem,” said Camp Assistant Professor of Nursing Kimberly Lowe. “The event will also provide insight and highlight resources that are available.”
Informational booths for organizations and services, such as the Virginia Beach Justice Initiative, Rise Behavioral Health, Southampton Memorial Hospital, Providence Psychosocial Services, The Children’s Center and the Western Tidewater Community Services Board will be displayed to highlight those resources.
Guest speaker Michael Dail, who tragically lost his daughter to an overdose, will talk about his family’s experience. A video, “Hidden in Plain Sight,” will raise awareness of where and how youth typically hide drugs.
A panel of speakers, include Vanessa Caraway, who is a recovering addict, Vanessa Torres of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and Caitlin Harding, a licensed professional counselor.
“We are still working on securing our panel of speakers,” said Lowe. “There will be a representative of the Franklin City Police Department and the Southampton County Sheriff’s Office. It has not been confirmed, but we also hope to have someone from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).”
Training for the Opioid Overdose and Naloxone Education (OONE) program for the Commonwealth of Virginia, Revive, will be conducted during the symposium as well. “In addition, drug disposal kits will be available,” added Lowe.
The event is free, but participants are asked to help support the Camp Community College food pantries by bringing two canned food items. The donation will help students who are struggling with food insecurity.
For more information about the event, contact Lowe at.