Heroin & Opioid Community Forum Recap

forum-panelA brief review for those who were unable to attend the November 29th Heroin & Opioid Community Forum…

Resource tables from the Kanabec County community included: B.A.D.G.E.S., East Central Drug Task Force, MADD, Therapeutic Services Agency, Teen Recovery Focus, Lighthouse Child and Family Services, Minnesota Adult & Teen Challenge, Know the Truth, Hazelden, OWN IT!, Mora ATI, East Central Women of Today and Steve Rummlers Hope Foundation.  

Our Community Dinner was catered by Blowin’ Smoke BBQ and was delicious! Tom Roeschlein donated the pork, fruit was donated by First Light Health Systems, ATI and OWN IT students served coffee, and other items were purchased with money graciously granted from the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy – Duluth.  

Program announcement were given by Adam Peterson of Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge. Presentations were given by Barb McFadden, Kanabec County Attorney; Brian Smith, Kanabec County Sheriff; Alex Gerhardson, Kanabec County DTF Agent; Dr. Brent Thompson, First Light Health Care Pharmacy Director; and Jenilee Telander, Minnesota DHS Regional Prevention Coordinator whom are all SACK coalition members. Each gave excellent presentations that were reflective of their personal and professional experiences with drug abuse, prevention and the impact drugs have on our community. 

Personal testimonials given by Molly and Jordan were staggering and gave audience members a real life look at how drug addiction impacts both families and communities. From violence, depression, criminal offenses, prison time, treatment failures, homelessness and financial despair these testimonials spoken from the heart, were emotional, sincere and essential for their recovery journey. 

Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge representative, Adam Peterson, presented information about brain development and the importance of cognitive functions during adolescents. He discussed drug and alcohol trends among teens in Kanabec county, what signs parents and other concerned adults can look for and how to help someone struggling with addiction. 

The event wrapped up with each presenter on stage answering questions from audience members. Questions regarding the local Drug Drop Box, Steve’s law, Naloxone, several legal and judicial inquires. Audience members were asked to fill out survey’s they received and were give information on how to become involved in the efforts of the coalition. 

Special thanks to the Mora Public School, district staff members that helped coordinate this event, East Central Women of Today for volunteering their time, Mora-ATI and Ogilvie OWN IT! groups for being excellent volunteers and mentors and to the coalition work group that pulled everything together to make this event possible. 

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