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Cumberland County Prevention Coalition Hosts Panel Discussion On Overdoses

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Cumberland County Prevention Coalition Hosts Panel Discussion On Overdoses

Finding ways to combat overdoses was Cumberland County Prevention Coalition Director Robert Valerio’s main takeaway from a Monday panel discussion.

A cross section of speakers that deal with addiction daily spoke at the event called “Overdose: Cumberland County’s Epidemic.” Valerio said the organization saw its largest turnout to date.

“We do need to get people that are versed and ready to administer the opioid reversal medications,” Valerio said. “We also identified outreach to people that are either incarcerated, have overdosed, in the hospital or family members.”

Valerio said the panel also spoke on reducing the stigma on addiction and how the coalition can connect with children to reduce first-time users. District Attorney General Bryant Dunaway, Overdose Specialist Suzanne Angel, Crossville Police Officers and more made the panel.

“It was phenomenal,” Valerio said. “We Facebook live streamed and had tremendous feedback from the participants and the panelists. It went really good.”

Valerio said the discussion was needed since overdoses have reached an all-time high nationally with over 100,000 last year. Valerio said it is trend that has been impacting the Upper Cumberland, as well.

“It was a huge spike from the previous record, which was the year before and none of the local counties in the Upper Cumberland have escaped its impact,” Valerio said. “Also we know according to the National Office of Drug Control that only seven percent of overdoses are fatal that 93 percent survive. Usually the people that do overdose it is not their first overdose. It’s their third or fourth, so we are looking to address that.”

Valerio said the coalition wants to people to know that support is available to help.


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