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2018 Louisiana Opioid Summit

Courtesy: KNOE 8 News
Courtesy: KNOE 8 News(KNOE)
Published: May. 23, 2018 at 4:47 AM CDT
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Reports show 115 Americans die every day from Opioid overdose, and the national epidemic is hitting close to home in Louisiana.

Other than educating and raising awareness about this epidemic, health professionals are encouraging addicts to take advantage

of services right here in their own backyard.

The Delta Human Services authority says Opioid deaths in Louisiana have increased by 45% and they that's largely due to the fact that some folks are legally getting six to seven opioid prescriptions written to them by a physician.

On Thursday, May 24th, law enforcement, local healthcare providers and community members are invited to attend an open dialogue about this issue, with hopes of finding a solution.

Dee Dee Toney with HSA says whether you struggle with opioid abuse or know someone who does, she says it's an issue that affects everyone.

"It's definitely affecting everyone in our state and so it's important that each person, each community member, each community leader, each professional is equipped with the knowledge to serve as a resource for their community, their family, and their state," says Toney. "Coming to this summit allows you to be that resource."

Toeny says HSA will also education people about a medicine called NARCAN, a non addictive nasal spray she says could potentially save more lives.

"It stops an opioid overdose from becoming fatal and it binds to some of the neurons in your brain and prevents respiratory issues," says Toney. "That' what happens when you overdose on an opioid, you have a hard time breathing, and once you stop breathing, the issue becomes fatal."

Toney says NARCAN can be purchased at your local pharmacy and says HSA will have nasal spray at Thursday's summit for people who are under-insured or have no insurance at all.

The 2018 Louisiana Opioid Summit is being held at the Monroe Civic Center on Thursday, May 24th from 8:30 a.m. 3 p.m.

The event is free but you do have to register beforehand at https://nedeltahsa.org.

You can also call 318-362-3270 for more information.