Symposium brings stories and solutions to ongoing opioid crisis

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – The ongoing battle against the opioid drug epidemic is front and center in the public spotlight. Congressman David Rouzer created a group to spread awareness and information.

This symposium comes after months of planning by the Congressman and other. It brought together key figures on every level, from the recovery clinic to the USDA all in an effort to reach those struggling and inform others.

“We’re going to celebrate recovery wherever it’s found,” said Kenny House Vice President of Clinical Services at Coastal Horizons.

House spoke alongside Mark Allen who leads the Refuge recovery program at Port City Community Church. It’s a conversation we have had with them before. This time was different as their panel discussion reached dozens on a public platform organized by the Congressman and his staff.

These men also sit on the steering committee Rep. Rouzer developed that also includes federal officials talking prevention programs as well as county Sheriff’s and District Attorney’s Jon and Ben David.

His idea for this committee sparked by the sit down he had with Alecia Roberts and her team.

“Tonight is proof that we do have voice and when we speak out even when we’re not sure that we’re going to get that response that we’re looking for, that sometimes we do,” said Roberts who chairs the group NC Coalition of Parents for Change.

The group is composed of parents impacted by the opioid epidemic. Roberts lost her 25-year-old daughter to it.

A year ago she reached out to the congressman to join their effort to bring those addicted to recovery and safety. To her surprise, he answered the call.

“Extremely grateful, my heart is full,” said Roberts.

The discussion ended with everyone elevating the message Roberts has for so many parents and victims.

“Don’t lose hope, don’t lose faith and don’t give up and keep fighting for them,” said Roberts.

Rep. Rouzer’s staff told Roberts they will look at hosting the symposium as an annual event.

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