Local event aims to raise awareness on the U.P. opiate epidemic

MARQUETTE– Wednesday night community members gathered to raise awareness on the local opiate epidemic.

At the Marquette Alternative High School the Cost of Addiction event hosted a panel discussion on opioid use. The event highlighted six different impacts including legal, health, community, and more. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration over 28 thousand people died from a drug overdose involving some type of opioid in 2014.

“I think it’s important for people to know the scope of the issues. On the Surgeon General’s report issued nationally, one in seven individuals will struggle with substance abuse in their lifetime,” CEO of Great Lakes Recovery Centers Greg Toutant said. “So if you take the population of Marquette County around 67,000 people anywhere from eight to ten thousand are impacted with substance abuse issues. I’m not sure what defines a crisis, but eight to ten thousand people is a very, very large impact.”

Toutant said this isn’t a one and done event, with hopes to make it a prolonged community conversation. Later events will focus on treatments, the prescribing practices of local physicians, then strategies to combat the issue.

For more information on future events click on the link Great Lakes Recovery