Just the Facts

Public input sought on opioid crisis

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(Supplied Content)

As the opioid crisis continues to impact communities, a collective effort is underway by all seven counties in Western North Carolina (WNC) to generate effective solutions to the epidemic. Led by the Southwestern Commission, a series of virtual focus groups are set to gather crucial input from community members regarding the impact of opioid use, available resources, treatment options, and prevention strategies.

The focus groups, scheduled to run for 90 minutes each on set dates, are designed to encourage participation from a diverse range of individuals, including those directly affected by opioid use, individuals with loved ones impacted, health care professionals, and community advocates. The discussions will play a pivotal role in shaping recommendations for how the opioid settlement funds could best be allocated to combat the epidemic in WNC.

Southwestern Commission Executive Director Russ Harris said the multiple focus groups emphasize the importance of various perspectives to address this multifaceted issue.

“Your experiences matter in shaping the solutions for our community,” said Harris. “We encourage active participation from all individuals with insights or experiences related to the opioid crisis. The more diverse the participation, the more comprehensive and impactful the funding recommendations and subsequent solutions will be.”

Community members are urged to join the focus groups and share this information with their networks.

This collective effort is a significant step in the fight against the opioid crisis in WNC, underlining the importance of community collaboration in implementing effective strategies for change.

Interested participants can click here www.regiona.org/opioid-focus-group-sessions to register, or contact regional representative Tonya Snider at (828) 631-0310 for questions.

Calls are scheduled for:

  • Monday, Nov. 27, 2:30 p.m., Health Care & Medical Professionals;
  • Thursday, Dec. 7, 2 p.m., Schools;
  • Wednesday, Dec. 13, 3 p.m., Substance Use Treatment Providers;
  • Monday, Dec. 18, 2 p.m., People with Personal or Family Experience