Meramec Regional Planning Commission hosting opioid use disorder walk

RDN REPORTS
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The Meramec Regional Planning Commission Rural Opioid Initiatives, the Meramec Region’s Rural Opioid Program and Opioid Affected Youth Initiative, in partnership with Mid-MO Addiction Awareness Group will host an opioid use disorder awareness walk in Potosi on Aug. 28, beginning at 10 a.m. 

The walk aims at providing awareness for opioid use disorder. 

The Meramec Regional Planning Commission’s rural opioid initiatives work to educate, increase awareness and identify prevention strategies for opioid use disorder throughout the Meramec Region for youth, children, families and adults. 

Resource information will be available at the walk. Area residents are encouraged to join the walk or stop by the information booth to learn about resources for persons and families suffering from opioid use disorder. 

Participants will meet at the Town Square Parking Lot at 102 N. Missouri St., Potosi, where sign-ups will be available. 

The walkers will then travel right on East High Street and go to East End Laundry where there will be a water stop and then participants will travel back along East High Street to the starting point. 

It is requested that all pets be left at home. Masks and social distancing will be encouraged. 

“We are excited to work with MAAG to bring SUD awareness walks to our region,” Executive Director of the Meramec Regional Planning Commission Bonnie Prigge said. “From 2015-2019, 35 people in Washington County died of drug overdoses. Fifteen of those were opioid overdoses.”

“When we look at Washington and its neighboring county of Crawford there were 76 overdose deaths for that timeframe with 42 of those deaths being opioid overdoses,” Prigge added. 

Statistics for 2020 are not yet finalized.

“Those who lose their lives to opioids are only a small portion of those who suffer from Substance Use Disorder, and it has a tremendous impact on families and communities,” Prigge said. “The purpose of the walk is making others aware of SUD in our communities as MRPC and its partners look for solutions that will aid with prevention, treatment and recovery.”

MAAG’s mission is to raise community awareness, share accurate information and break the stigma that surrounds substance use disorder. 

“SUD awareness walks bring light to the issue of substance use disorder to the communities where they take place,” Meramec Regional Planning Commission development specialist assistant Christa Harmon said. “We walk together, not ashamed of our loved ones who suffer from SUD. We walk together to be a voice for those who have lost their lives due to overdose. We walk together to show recovery can happen.” 

Persons needing more information on the walk can contact Christa Harmon at 573-265-2993 or by email at charmon@meramecregion.org. 

Pre-registration is not required.