Prescription pain medication abuse and heroin epidemic town hall meeting – Sept. 28

HeroinDAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) — Several organizations will come together for a Town Hall meeting to raise awareness on Prescription Pain Medication Abuse and the Heroin Epidemic, Wednesday, September 28, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Rogalski Center, 518 West Locust Street.

The event, free and open to the public, will feature a panel of experts from law enforcement, the courts, and mental health and substance abuse treatment who will speak about opiate addiction and local services to treat it. Resource tables to connect audience members with helping agencies will also be on hand.

Drug OverdosesHeroin and other opiate drugs are back in the news, both nationally and in our area. The event will address local abuse of heroin and prescription opiates, which have claimed the lives of over 125,000 Americans in the past ten years. According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, the United States saw 38,000 overdose-related deaths in 2010 alone. This number represents a 500-percent increase since 1980. Prescribed opiate painkillers like morphine, codeine, Fentanyl, Vicodin, Oxycontin, and Darvon are widely available on the black market, where individuals steal and sell prescribed medicines. Heroin has reported as being increasingly cheap and easy to obtain.

The meeting will begin with an overview by the US Attorney’s office followed by a call to action, presentations and a panel discussion. Mike Mickle will serve as the emcee. There will be a short video emphasizing the family perspective opiate addiction as well. Those scheduled to participate in the Town Hall forum include:

Dr. Paul Koch, St. Ambrose V.P., Student and Academic Affairs
U.S. Attorney Kevin E. VanderSchel
Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard D. Westphal
Al Fear, Eastern Iowa Heroin Initiative
Dr. Marcus Nashelsky
Dennis Duke, President, Robert Young Center
Mary A. Petersen, COO, Robert Young Center
Lt. Kevin Smull, Davenport Police Department
Joe Cowley, President/CEO, Center for Alcohol & Drug Services, Inc.
Heather Olson, COO, Center for Alcohol & Drug Services, Inc.

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