The meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. on August 7th, 2018 at the Stone County Fairgrounds – Exhibit Building,
800 Airport Street, Wiggins, MS, 39577, and will include a discussion with representatives from partnering agencies, as well as local officials and professionals. This meeting is just one in a series of town hall meetings that are open to the public and being held throughout the state during 2018 to educate communities about the growing issue of opioid abuse.
In early 2017, Governor Phil Bryant convened a task force of professionals from the healthcare, legal, medical, dental, and law enforcement sectors to develop a comprehensive plan to address the opioid crisis. In response to the findings and recommendations of the task force, the Stand Up, Mississippi partnership began working on multifaceted, proactive solutions to reduce the negative impact of opioid misuse and abuse in the state.
“Far too many Mississippi families and communities have suffered the devastating effects of opioid and heroin abuse,” said Diana Mikula, executive director of DMH. “Governor Phil Bryant and other state leaders have demonstrated a strong commitment to ending this crisis in our state by supporting coordinated efforts to provide prevention, education, and treatment options throughout the state.”
Prescription drug abuse has surged 400% in the past decade, and many teens now say it is easier to acquire prescription drugs than it is to buy beer. According to the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, there were 256 reported drug overdose deaths in Mississippi in 2017. Of those reported, 74% were opioid related.
“We recognized early on that we could not arrest our way out of this problem. We knew we had to use a different approach with this issue,” said Commissioner Marshall Fisher of the Department of Public Safety. “We have been intentional about educating citizens, training law enforcement and medical professionals, and providing secure drop boxes where people can safely dispose of their unused prescription pain medication.”
“The partnerships we have formed are essential in helping us educate communities about the impact addiction is having on our state,” Mikula said. “If you or someone else needs help, we urge you to reach out. There are people throughout the state who want to help you get on the road to recovery.”
For more information please contact Angela Mallette with Stand Up, Mississippi at 601-359-1288 or visit our website at www.StandUpMS.org .