West Jefferson – The second special event for the 2019 On the Same Page Festival Read is coming right up: Thursday, August 29, at 1:00 p.m. in the Library Community Room. Seven local professionals involved in various opioid-related activities will participate in a panel discussion and take questions from the audience. Adult Services Librarian and panel host Laura McPherson says, “This session will bring concerns about opioid misuse home to Ashe County and help us understand what our public and private agencies are doing to help.” The event is free and open to the public.
Beth Macy’s Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America has been widely read and amplified by national media coverage since its publication a year ago. Its selection for the On the Same Page Literary Festival Read was an easy decision, according to coordinating committee member Melinda Hamrick. “The immediacy and seriousness of the book, and the fact that Beth Macy is a past Festival author, made it an obvious choice,” Hamrick says. “It’s important to bring this often-taboo subject into the open, and we expect our panelists, who are dealing with it professionally, will help do that.”
The members of the panel represent six public and private agencies. Each will speak for five to seven minutes, followed by a question-and-answer session. The organizations involved are Ashe Medics ambulance service, AppHealth, Ashe County Sheriff’s Office, the Division of Social Services, private counselors, and Emergency Management Services. Dakota Todd, of the EMS, will moderate and introduce the Hospital Opioid Grant recently received by the County.