COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Columbus County leaders are taking the next steps in fighting the opioid epidemic in their area with a leadership forum on opioid abuse scheduled for November 8.
According to Columbus County Health Director Kim Smith, the state gave health departments the task of organizing opioid forums.
On Wednesday morning, county leaders, including the chairman of the Board of Commissioners, the sheriff, the assistant district attorney and the health director, will meet to plan the opioid forum.
According to Daniel Buck, the Health Education Supervisor at the Columbus County Health Department, the county plans to have representatives from the Sheriff's Office, Eastpointe Health, local faith leaders and pharmacists speak at the forum.
Smith said county leaders hope the forum will not only educate the community about the epidemic, but also help them realize it's a public health crisis.
"I'm sure there are families out there struggling with this issue and maybe we can bring some resolutions to their issues," Smith said. "Then, hopefully, to bring it to the younger crowd so hopefully they won't get into and become part of these numbers that we're dealing with."
The forum will be held in the auditorium of Southeastern Community College in Whiteville from three p.m. to six p.m. The event is open to the public, and Buck said they will be opening the floor so community members have a chance to participate.