Symposium raises awareness on rural opioid crisis

A symposium was held in Washington Indiana to help people who work with the opioid crisis fight the epidemic.

Posted: Jul 31, 2018 6:11 PM

WASHINGTON, Ind. (WTHI) - Shirley Blazey-Waggoner's grandson was a victim of the opioid crisis.

Blazey-Waggoner says, "Suddenly I got a call at seven o'clock in the morning from his dad. That we lost Brian. And I was just in such shock. I didn't know what he was talking about."

The loss has greatly affected her family. Now she is trying to help those who still have a chance.

Blazey-Waggoner says, "We've got to lick this, so these generations. These kids don't get it. And we've got to help everyone who has it now. That has a problem."

Blazey-waggoner was one of many on hand to discuss the crisis on Tuesday morning.

Don Kelso with the Indiana Rural Health Association says, "It's typical for rural communities to think that this is not going to affect their community. In reality, it is. A lot of times its just under the radar. Then when it shows itself it's almost too late."

Members of law enforcement, the medical field, and others from the community learning how the crisis is hurting rural Indiana.

Lieutenant governor Susan Crouch says, "This is truly an epidemic. And it particularly an epidemic that hits hard in rural Indiana. Because of the lower income level and the higher prescription needs."

Officials who work with the crisis now learning how to fight it. Blazey-Waggoner says that's whats important.

Blazey-Waggoner says, "We just have to try. One step at a time. That's all we can do."

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