Opioid awareness events to offer free resources, combat myths
A partnership between several county entities aims to provide locals with everything they need to know about the ongoing opioid crisis, including access to experts and free opioid addiction resources.
Grand Futures Prevention Coalition, Communities that Care and the Lions Club are hosting three Opioid Awareness Dine and Learn events across the county throughout the month of October. The event features expert speakers who will touch on different aspects of the epidemic and local resources.
“It’s a total health push, community event,” said Teresa Cantwell, youth development coordinator for Grand Futures. “Our mission is to prevent substance use and abuse among our youth and if you don’t talk about it, you can’t prevent it.”
Opioid Awareness Dine and Learn, 6 – 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 2 at the Headwaters Center, Winter Park
Thursday, Oct. 10 at Middle Park High School, Granby
Wednesday, Oct. 16 at West Grand High School, Kremmling
The Colorado Consortium of Drug Abuse Prevention will kick off the lineup by addressing opioid myths and the statewide situation while other presenters will speak about smart medication use and pain management.
Local resources featured include those at Mind Springs Health, Middle Park Health and the upcoming Mountain Medical Road to Recovery mobile clinic.
Cantwell said the event is mainly focused on awareness and prevention, so attendees will have a chance to ask questions of the speakers and they will be available for one-on-one conversations after the presentations.
“The number one thing, if we get no other message across, it’s that you’re not alone,” she said.
Narcan, the emergency narcotic overdose treatment, will also be available for free, as well as a limited supply of medicine lock boxes.
“You simply follow the directions, so anyone who wants one is going to be able to get one there,” Cantwell said. “It will save a life.”
Information about medication take-back options in the county, medication-assisted treatment options and opioid-free medical care and pain management options will be showcased.
Dinner, catered by Wild Horse, will also be provided at each of the three events for no cost, though it will be on a first come, first serve basis.
The event series was funded in part by a federal grant through the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, which aims to expand educational and prevention opportunities that address the opioid epidemic.
Colorado Crisis Services: 844-493-8255
Text ‘TALK’ to 38255
In 2017, over 1,000 people died from drug-induced deaths in the state, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
While Grand County hasn’t been hit as hard by the opioid epidemic as other parts of the state, alcohol, opioid and substance use have been identified as a top health priority in the county’s public health plans since at least 2001.
Cantwell emphasized that part of the events’ importance, aside from sharing resources and information, is to try and keep the crisis from getting any worse in the county.
“On the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey, (opioids) are not the number one item, but we don’t want it to become that and this crisis is sweeping,” she said.
A particular risk factor for health and behavioral problems in Grand County is laws and norms favorable to drug use, firearms and crime, Cantwell noted.
Following the events, Grand Futures will post videos of the speakers to their social media pages so that as many people as possible can access the information.
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