Mississippi agencies prepare for opioid and heroin summit - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Mississippi agencies prepare for opioid and heroin summit

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
MADISON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Mississippi is fifth in the nation for opioid prescriptions and overdoses are at an all time high.

There's no one size fits all description of an addict. The opioid and heroin epidemic breaks every stereotype.

RELATED: Rankin County officials arrest 12 for opioid misuse

"What we've done is created a society of sissies and there is a pill for everything," said Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics Director John Dowdy.

Dowdy hopes the summit will bridge the gaps among the various agencies and community groups.

"We will not arrest our way out of this problem," added Dowdy. "It's going to take prevention. It's going to take education. It's going to take aggressive law enforcement. And it's going to take meaningful treatment." 

Attorney General Jim Hood said that's where the state has to put up more dollars, not cut them.

"It is a sin for what our legislature has done for appropriations to the Department of Mental Health," said Hood. "You know they had to close the male unit, drug and alcohol unit, at Whitfield." 

Hood has also sued some of the drug companies in an attempt to fight the epidemic from one angle.

Public Safety Commissioner Marshall Fisher notes there's not a silver bullet to solve this epidemic.

"It's time," noted Fisher. "The silence has been deafening on this issue."

That's why they've expanded their reach to the community through town halls.

READ MORE: When is an opioid safe to take?

"I was told that some of the pharmaceutical industry had reached out wanting to help us," said Fisher. "My response to that is--you've done quite enough already to help us. So, stay out of the way."

The goal of the summit is to make people more aware of the epidemic and stop sweeping conversations about it into the dark.

The summit starts Tuesday and will run through Thursday at Broadmoor Baptist in Madison. They'll have family forum nights on Tuesday and Wednesday, if you aren't able to go to the early sessions.

To see the agendas or register to attend the summit, go to www.drug summit.com.

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