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Duncan to host 7-day opioid response event

Opioid painkiller addiction has had a loud voice in southwest Oklahoma communities, and now local leaders are talking back in a big way.

City of Duncan and Stephens County community leaders, law enforcement and medical professionals are partnering with Oklahoma State University’s Center for Wellness and Recovery to bring a seven-day opioid epidemic response event to town.

”Duncan has the highest number of opioids dispensed per person in the state and the highest rate of overdose from opioid prescriptions in the state,” said Julie Croff, executive director of the OSU Center for Wellness and Recovery.

According to a July 29 news release from Oklahoma State University, 25 individuals in Stephens County died of unintentional opioid misuse from 2013 to 2017. Croff added that surrounding counties also are at high risk, and law enforcement and community members and leaders from Jefferson, Comanche and Grady counties are invited to participate in the response event.

“We want to make the community aware and bring them together to talk about solutions,” Croff said.

{p dir=”ltr”}The week will kick off Friday evening with an interactive town hall meeting featuring five expert panelists: Jackie Shipp, the Oklahoma State Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Commissioner; 6th District Attorney Jason Hicks; John Scott of the Oklahoma Drug Enforcement Administration; Dr. Dan Criswell of Duncan Regional Hospital; and Louann Wiseman with Celebrate Recovery. The town hall starts at 6 p.m. at the Simmons Center, 800 Chisholm Trail Parkway, in Duncan.

The Lawton Constitution

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