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Ingham County Officials Discuss Opioid Epidemic

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Ingham County Officials Discuss Opioid Epidemic

Sami Luke

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On Tuesday the American Civil Liberties Union hosted a meeting about the Opioid epidemic at the Lansing public Media Center.

The meeting consisted of a panel of five Ingham county experts who addressed the opioid epidemic in the United States. The panel’s moderator was Ingham County Commissioner Sarah Anthony. The panel had: Sheriff Scott Wriggelsworth, Prosecuting Attorney Carol Siemon, Chief Judge Donald Allen, Health Officer of the Ingham County Health department Linda Vail and anesthesiologist Dr. Michael Mullins.

The meeting was a conversation about how the community should be reacting to the epidemic.

“I think everybody in the crowd today and the panel has a lot more power than we think to help people from being addicts and what I mean by that is: these pills are everywhere,” Wrigglesworth said.

Dr. Mullins affirmed that addiction should be treated as a disease instead of a crime.

“[We need to be] looking at addiction as a chronic brain disease, not a character flaw and a moral failure,” Vail said.

A new attitude about addiction is what the panel hopes will eventually control the opioid epidemic.

For more on this story, you can listen to the Undercurrent’s latest episode, “Community consciousness”. Or, find us on iTunes by searching “The Undercurrent” with the red and black logo.   

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Ingham County Officials Discuss Opioid Epidemic