A community listening event in Rocky Top in April will focus on painkillers, substance abuse, addiction, and overdoses.
The listening event will be at the Rocky Top Community Center on Monday, April 3, from 6-7:15 p.m. It will be hosted by Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank and concerned citizen Patricia Adkins, a press release said.
“The open invitation event will focus on receiving community comments about opiate abuse, addiction issues, and/or treatment, and any concern surrounding substance abuse issues in the community,” the press release said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drug overdoses now account for more deaths in the U.S. than motor vehicle accidents, with 52 percent attributed to prescription medications.
“Most people have been personally touched by substance abuse or addiction, or know someone who has been touched by these issues,” Frank said in the press release. “We have many different organizations—like law enforcement agencies or health coalitions from the federal, state and local level—that are working very hard to address these issues.
“We hope by listening to the needs, concerns, and ideas from local members of the community, that the community itself might be able to further partner with other agencies, government and organizations, or even embark on its own additional efforts to address this epidemic. When people come together with passion and concern, mountains can be moved.”
“This issue has been on my heart a very long time and as a citizen, I just want to give my best effort to make a real difference,” Adkins said. “I am hoping by listening to fellow community members that we might be able to find shared cares and concerns, and from there, translate these shared cares and concerns into action.”
The press release said Adkins approached Frank, asking what people in the community could do to address the addiction epidemic.
“The listening event is an effort to facilitate the best paths forward for community involvement,” the press release said.
The next listening event will take place in Clinton on April 25 at 6 p.m. at the Clinton Community Center.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
Do you appreciate this story or our work in general? If so, please consider a monthly subscription to Oak Ridge Today. See our Subscribe page here. Thank you for reading Oak Ridge Today.
Copyright 2016 Oak Ridge Today. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.