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Buncombe County Commissioners Ellen Frost and Mike Fryar will host a series of "Opioid Town Halls" in District 2 throughout November.

Speakers include medical experts from MAHEC and peer support specialists from Family Preservation Services and Sunrise Community Wellness and Recovery.

The community is invited to the first Opioid Town Hall at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 9 at the Black Mountain Library at 105 N. Dougherty Street in Black Mountain.  

With mountains of prescription painkillers circulating in Western North Carolina the rates of opioid addiction and opioid-related deaths are skyrocketing. What is it about prescription painkillers that are so addictive and how can we keep them from taking root in our homes, schools, and communities?

Please join us to discuss the opioid epidemic, steps to prevent misuse, and how to support those who struggle with addiction. We can all take an active role in stopping the epidemic through education, self-advocacy, and removing barriers to recovery.

Topics of conversation will include: An overview of the epidemic of painkiller addiction, practical ways to prevent substance use disorder from taking root, steps to safety and support for substance use disorder and core messages about this public health epidemic.

Over 17 million painkillers were prescribed in Buncombe County in 2016. This equals almost 68 pills for every adult and child in the county.

From January to August 2017 there were 230 opioid overdose emergency department visits in Buncombe County. Today in North Carolina, you are more likely to die of an overdose than a car crash. Addiction is a disease and can happen to anyone. Whether you or someone you know is impacted by opioid addiction, help and hope are closer than you think.

Opioid Town Halls will also be held in Weaverville on November 16 and Fairview on November 30.  Locations to be announced soon.

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