North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Panel will discuss opioid addiction

 

Christopher Andersson

The Stillaguamish Senior Center will host a panel on opioid addiction on May 23 and invites the public to attend.

The Stillaguamish Senior Center will host a panel about opioid addiction on May 23 at the center's main hall.

The event is from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the center at 18218 Smokey Point Blvd., Arlington.

There will be an overview of the basics of the opioid epidemic and then a panel of community leaders will discuss what they have seen in the community.

"We will talk about how widespread opioid addiction is, the increase in opioid use, addiction in the general community, and what impacts that has made in the community," said the center's outreach coordinator Adele Erbeck.

Although meant to increase awareness for older adults, the seminar is open to people all ages.

"We want to cover the whole spectrum of issues that people might not know about," said Erbeck.

Issues of opioid addiction cut across all economic backgrounds and all ages, according to Erbeck.

This is the second session being held at the Stillaguamish Senior Center after Snohomish County Health and Human Services required that county senior centers hold information sessions.

"The county has mandated that all the senior centers are to have two opioid information sessions," said Erbeck.

She said that opioid addiction is now one of the more prevalent issues and county officials hope to increase the awareness for older adults about the problem.

"With older people, you start to get more aches and more pains and sometimes more opioids will be prescribed to manage that," she said.

For some, those prescriptions can become an addition.

Erbeck said that the seminar is not meant to attack those who need pain management medication and use opioids responsibly.

Opioids are a useful medication to control chronic pain or temporary pain, she said, but can lead to addiction in those who are not careful.

The first session was mainly delivered through a Snohomish County Health and Human Services Powerpoint presentation.

"It went well. The presentation provided basic information and an overview of the addiction problem," said Erbeck.

While the second seminar will include some of that basic information as well, it will also include a panel of community leaders, to discuss some of the problems they see locally.

Those leaders include Todd Redd of Stillaguamish Behavioral Health and representatives from the Arlington Community Resources, local police departments and local school districts.

Erbeck said she hopes this seminar helps reveal some of the opioid addiction problems with older adults, the causes of opioid addiction, treatments available, public response and the financial impacts on the community.

The seminar is open to the pubic and all are encouraged to attend. For more information contact Adele Erbeck at 360-653-4551.

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