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Two summits this summer looking to educate people on opioid epidemic

Flickr User: Divine Harvester /

According to the CDC, Michigan saw a 13-percent increase in opiate related deaths from 2014 to 2015.


Two forums this summer are looking to educate members of the public and health professionals on the issue.  




Bay County has scheduled a heroin summit on July 27 to update people on what the county has done to address the issue and what more can be done.


Barry Schmidt is the facilitator of the Bay County summit.


“When the opioids that are prescribed are no longer they end up turning to heroin most of the time. A lot of it  also has to do with also with the stress levels of people and things people deal with and just overall, a lot of people want to escape the pain whether it’s a physical pain or an emotional pain.”  


Central Michigan University is holding an opioid forum September 8 for health students and professionals.


Larry Ashley is the facilitator of the CMU forum.


He said prescribers are on the forefront of the combating the epidemic.  


“One way we're working on is the prescriptions. Of getting prescribers educated and there's no need for opioids as a first choice, that's a last resort for pain. Whether you're a physician or dentist or whatever.”