May 26, 2024

Finney County Opioid Summit trying to tackle issue

Garden City, KS(westernkansasnews.com) Wednesday March 21 from 8 am – 1 pm Finney County will hold an Opioid Summit in classrooms A and B at St. Catherine Hospital.

Opioid topics will be presented by experts throughout the state and include a national overview, K-TRACS overview, prescriber/physician perspective, substance use disorder treatment, state and local initiatives, community partners panel and a discussion on where Finney County can go from here.

St. Catherine Hospital chose to host the summit because they want the community to know they are addressing the issue. According to LiveWell Finney County Executive Director Callie Dyer the issue is bigger locally than people know.

“It’s everywhere, from young people to senior citizens,” said Dyer, “people assume it’s younger people, but statistically across the nation you’re seeing a rise in senior citizens as well, it hits a vast group of people age and socioeconomics.”

During the summit the rankings for Finney County will be shown for opioid abuse.

“It depends on your age breakdown, people would be surprised how high we are in the state average, but we are below the national average. There are people that you would assume that don’t have an issue that do,” said Dyer.

The summit also will clarify what exactly opioid abuse is and how it covers a wide range.

“Opioids come from all providers,” said Dyer, “it’s not just the heroin that a user shoots, it’s also from abusing prescription drugs and you have to have a prescription to get them and it’s not just doctors that provide them. You hear about people that have a knee replacement or shoulder replacement and they’re given a drug for the pain and it’s a painful rehab and they get hooked on the pain pills, that’s an opioid abuse. Dentists also prescribe them. It’s a big umbrella of drugs, it’s not just one drug like marijuana. I don’t think the general public understands what an opioid is.”

For more information on the Finney County Opioid Summit call Callie Dyer at 620-276-1181 or e-mail CallieDyer@centura.org.