FLORENCE, Ala. – The University of North Alabama will be the setting for a town hall meeting to raise awareness on opioid addiction in the state of Alabama, and foster discussions on recovery and solutions. State Representative Johnny Mack Morrow is teaming up with UNA to host the meeting. The meeting will take place on Sept. 27, from 4-6 p.m., in Norton Auditorium on UNA’s campus.
Governor Kay Ivey signed Executive Order 708 August 8, 2017, creating the Alabama Opioid Overdose and Addiction Council as a response to the drug-overdose epidemic related to opioid abuse in the nation. Alabama is no stranger to the epidemic, with the state seeing a recent increase in the overdose-death rate. Additionally, the use of prescription opioids is linked to the use of heroin, and nearly 30,000 Alabamians over the age of 17 are estimated to be addicted to prescription painkillers or heroin.
Gov. Ivey is establishing the Alabama Opioid Overdose and Addiction Council to study the state’s current crisis, while also identifying a focused set of strategies to reduce the number of deaths.
State Attorney General Steve Marshall will participate on a panel, along with the Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Mental Health Lynn Beshear, Acting State Health Officer Scott Harris, State Senator Tim Melson, CEO of Riverbend Center for Mental Health Bryan Libell, and Chair of UNA’s Counselor Education Department Quinn Pearson. UNA President, Dr. Ken Kitts will provide opening remarks.
The event is free and open to the public. UNA students, faculty and staff, as well as members of the community are encouraged to attend. Social Work, Nursing, and Counseling continuing education units (CEUS) will be available to certified professionals.