Community Event Aims to Combat Opioid Epidemic in Bartow County

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Photo courtesy of UNODC

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia, in collaboration with the Georgia Department of Public Health Northwest Health District, is organizing a community gathering to tackle the opioid crisis. Dubbed “Spring Into Wellness: An Opioid Prevention and Recovery Community Resource Fair,” the event is set to take place on Tuesday, May 14, 2024, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Champions Center at LakePoint Sports, located at 261 Stars Way, Emmerson, Georgia.

The event aims to raise awareness about local resources available to combat opioid use, overdoses, and deaths. U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan emphasized the commitment to engage with law enforcement partners and community stakeholders to address the issue and spread awareness about available resources.

Dr. Gary Voccio, Health Director for the Northwest Health District, highlighted the preventable nature of opioid overdose deaths and stressed the importance of improving opioid prescribing practices and access to prevention and recovery resources.

The alarming statistics of Bartow County, including 32 opioid deaths in 2022 and a high age-adjusted opioid death rate compared to the state average, have spurred organizers to prioritize the event. Concerns have also been raised about nationwide increases in illicit fentanyl exposures in young children.

The event will feature several goals, including increasing community awareness of prevention and recovery resources, sharing inspirational stories of recovery, and educating attendees on fentanyl overdose prevention strategies for youth and families. Several dozen opioid overdose prevention resources are expected to participate and provide information to the public.

U.S. Attorney Buchanan, Dr. Voccio, and local Bartow County officials will address attendees during the event to underscore the importance of community engagement in combating the opioid epidemic. Registration for the event is available but not required.

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