Opiod epidemic forum will be held on Monday


The Office of Community Outreach works to provide students with opportunities to engage themselves in service projects that improve the quality of life of others in the community (Brandon Barzola/The Daily Campus)

The University of Connecticut Community Outreach’s Dialogue Initiative will be hosting a forum Monday to discuss the opioid epidemic.

The dialogue seeks to provide a space for students and faculty to contribute their knowledge and experience on the topic and learn about the issues and experiences of others surrounding the opioid epidemic, the post in the UConn Daily Digest said.

“We hope to encourage participation from students who aren’t too familiar on the opioid epidemic to those who consider themselves well-versed on the topic,” the post said. “We want this to be an experience where we can listen and learn from each other.”

The forum will take place in the Rowe Center for Undergraduate Education in room 122 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Monday, according to the post.

Third semester physiology and neurobiology major Alexandra Porczak said she appreciates that people are having these conversations, especially following recent overdoses.

“Personally, I think it’s great for people to sit down and talk about these issues,” Porczak said. “The opioid epidemic is a really big deal especially after the incident in New Haven. Hopefully the forum can help find some unique ways to solve the crisis.”

Dissimilarly, third semester management information systems major Andrew Taylor said he believes nothing productive will come out of this forum.

“It’s not going to solve anything,” Taylor said. “Its just talk and talks don’t do anything, instead of a talk they should try to find a solution for people around the area.”

The forum was organized in response to an initiative released by the National Issues Forum that seeks to stress the lethalness of the opioid epidemic in America and to promote dialogue about solutions, the post said.

“Drug abuse, a problem the United States has faced for decades, has taken a sharply more lethal turn with the rise of opioids—both legal pain-killers, such as oxycodone and fentanyl, and illegal ones like heroin,” the National Issues Forum said. “More than 64,000 Americans were killed by drug overdoses in 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control. At least two-thirds of those 2016 drug deaths were caused by opioids.”

The forum also comes in response to Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy’s announcement of $20 million in federal aid the state will receive to fight the opioid epidemic.

Andrew Miano is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at andrew.miano@uconn.edu.

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