Gulf Coast organizations raise awareness of growing opioid crisis

Right now, Harrison County leads the state with the most opioid-related overdoses and deaths.
Published: May. 10, 2023 at 10:17 PM CDT
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - A Gulf Coast organization is raising awareness for the ongoing opioid crisis across the Magnolia State.

The heartbreaking reality of substance abuse continues to destroy the lives of abusers and their families.

On Wednesday, CannaHill Life screened the movie “Love in the Time of Fentanyl” on the anniversary of its premiere.

While the film played, there were several topics to pinpoint.

“We’ve got to mitigate those types of things, and that means we’ve got to think about what we can do as a community to help people stay the course. We need to try to help them at least stay alive,” said Melody Worsham.

Worsham is with the Mississippi Recovery Advocacy Project and Mental Health Association of South Mississippi. She said visitors will learn of the growing crisis in Harrison County and along the Gulf Coast.

Right now, Harrison County leads the state with the most opioid-related overdoses and deaths.

Worsham works with abusers to navigate them to find resources to reverse their consumption of the drug.

“People find out what exact pathway is going to work out for them and there’s hope. There’s always hope, no matter how deep they might be in their substance use disorder, there’s definitely help out there,” Worsham said.

Representatives of CannaHill Life said sometimes users don’t know fentanyl is in a product. Six out of ten street pills contain the drug.

“We have a very large retirement community here and military community, and these are retirees who are in a lot of pain,” Worsham said.

There’s also a push for more medical dispensaries to assist in decreasing usage.

“Medical cannabis has been very effective in both reducing the opioid overdose death and also the dependency and need for individual patients to use opioids,” said David Brown with Southern Roots Therapeutics of Mississippi.

He said gulf coast organizations will continue to partner together to raise awareness in communities.

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