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Opioid Awareness Town hall scheduled for Dunnellon, Silver Springs Shores

More tools to combat the opioid epidemic are soon coming to South Carolina.
More tools to combat the opioid epidemic are soon coming to South Carolina.(WIS)
Published: Apr. 19, 2022 at 7:31 PM EDT
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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) - The Boys and Girls Club of Marion County (BGC) is trying to raise awareness about opioid abuse in the community.

Staff scheduled three town halls at each of the non-profit’s clubs. The first meeting at the Ocala location has already passed, with officials calling it a success.

“I think this is one of those topics that a lot of people might say to themselves I don’t need to know any information. I don’t know anyone who has a problem,” Marion County BCG CEO, April Savarese said. “But this is really about prevention and awareness this is about really understanding what to do if that happens to you.”

The goal is to spread information so residents can better recognize the signs of opioid misuse and help those struggling with addiction.

The Heart of Florida Health Center (HFHC) is partnering on the initiative. Carali McLean, Director of Quality and Risk Management for HFHC wrote via email, that they see the collaboration as an important part of “parents and teens having accurate information about the dangers of opiates, especially fentanyl.”

Treating opioid addiction with medications and counseling is one of the main parts of HFHC’s practice along with Primary Care services. They provide what’s called a Medication Assisted Program (MAT) to those struggling with addiction.

Since 1999, drug-related overdose deaths have steadily increased among all ages, according to data collected by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Since 1999, drug-related overdose deaths has steadily increased among all ages, according to...
Since 1999, drug-related overdose deaths has steadily increased among all ages, according to data collected by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.(CDC)

“In Marion County, the average age of folks that are addicted to opioids is in the mid-30s,” said Savarese.

The other two town hall gatherings will be held on April 20th in Dunnellon and May 11th in Silver Springs Shores. Both will be held at 6 p.m.

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