Opioid Speaker Series to chronicle the ongoing impact of the Opioid Crisis in Lethbridge during May

By Aaron Mahoney (@Mahones93 on Twitter)
April 28, 2018 - 10:39am

LETHBRIDGE – The information about the local opioid crisis has been well documented over the past few years, including the overdoses, individuals, businesses, and areas of the city hit the hardest.

The Lethbridge Public Library wants to “Start Talking” and delve a little deeper into issues like the difference the supervised consumption site is making, the at-risk populations in Lethbridge, the way pharmacies are responding, and how the Lethbridge Police Service is dealing with the crisis.

Not every small city has experienced the problems with drug abuse and overdoses that Lethbridge has seen over the past few years.

About 60 per cent of fentanyl-related overdose deaths in Alberta Health's south zone occurred in Lethbridge according to statistics from the first six months of last year.

Providing information about the many sides of the opioid crisis is one way to encourage and further conversations and solutions, and Information Services Librarian Jonathan Jarvie says considering the current opioid crisis, the Library wants to be a part of providing a solution.

“One of the ways we can accomplish that is through education,” he continued. “By taking a proactive educational role, we feel that the Library can assist in keeping customers of the Library, and the community as a whole, safe, aware, and healthy.”

The Library, a member of the Executive Leaders Coalition on Opioid Use, will be hosting an Opioid Speaker Series entitled Start Talking, on Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m. during the month of May, in the Theatre Gallery at the Main Branch:

- May 2 Speaker: Kai Boehme, RPh., Thriftway Pharmacy. Find out how pharmacies are responding to the opioid crisis, as well as what Naloxone kits are and how you can get one.

- May 9 Speaker: Jill Manning, ARCHES. What treatments are available for opioid users? Find out how Lethbridge’s supervised consumption site is making a difference after only two months.

- May 16 Speaker: Dr. Em Pijl, University of Lethbridge. Dr. Pijl’s research focuses on homelessness, substance using, and at-risk populations. She will be discussing a drug study she conducted in four Alberta cities.

- May 23 Speaker: Constable Ryan Darroch, Lethbridge Police Service. Learn how the Lethbridge Police Service is dealing with the opioid crisis, and how you can make your neighbourhood less desirable to opioid users.

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