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First opioid abuse town hall to be held Tuesday

A series of town hall events will be held around the state in an order to curb the growing opioid abuse epidemic in Mississippi.

The first of these events, hosted by the state pharmacy board, Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics and the Department of Mental Health, will be held Tuesday night at the Brandon Civic Center.

“We’ve got to get to the point where the healthcare providers take a hard look at their prescribing habits,” said MBN Director John Dowdy.

Opioid abuse has been shown to sprout from addiction to prescription painkillers. Oftentimes, the addiction starts when someone is prescribed an opioid for chronic pain.

“There are ways of looking at variations of prescribing for acute pain, not chronic pain,” said Michael Jordan, with the Mississippi Department of Mental Health.

Dowdy said the public will be one of the greatest tools in combating opioid addiction.

“This meeting is designed to bring the public together to create situational awareness to the epidemic we’re facing currently, concerning prescription painkillers and heroin,” Dowdy said.

The agencies hope to scheduled other events for Columbus, Starkville, Oxford, Vicksburg, Hattiesburg, McComb, Natchez and along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

The first meeting is set for Tuesday, May 22 at the Brandon Civic Center at 6:30.

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