Our View: Education, conversation are catalyst for change

Published 9:00 am Saturday, April 7, 2018

Community members gathered at Bluegrass Community and Technical College Thursday to have a frank, but necessary discussion and learning session about the opioid crisis.

At the “Lunch and Learn: Addressing the Opioid Crisis,” Bluegrass.org Regional Prevention Specialist Shaye Walker gave a presentation on the state of the crisis.

The meeting is part of Kentucky’s Opioid Response Effort (KORE), a state targeted response to the opioid crisis grant.

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About 17 counties are participating, and each county receives a community training, prescriber training and a first responder training.

Attendees learned about the risks and side effects of opioid use. Walker said according to a study, as many as one in four people receiving prescription opioids long term in a primary care setting struggle with addiction.

The session also focused on how to use naloxone, a life-saving overdose reversal drug.

Walker also said it’s important for people to recognize drug addiction is considered a brain disease because addicts go through physical and chemical changes in the brain.

As the Kentucky opioid crisis continues to effect communities, individuals and families, conversations like these are important first steps.

For many, understanding the addiction and the effects of the opioid crisis can be the best starting point to help someone or work with others to help fight the problem.

As Walker said, one of the biggest factors in fighting the opioid crisis could be changing people’s perspectives on addiction.

The first step for Clark County to battle the opioid crisis is to educate everyone.

As Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world.”

Education will be the catalyst for more people to become actively involved in fighting addiction and the terrible effects it has on the Commonwealth.

Sessions like these are great first steps.