PINE BELT (WDAM) - The abuse and addiction of opioid prescription drugs has exceeded epidemic proportion in America with more than 33,000 opioid related overdose deaths occurring in 2015 nationwide.
Mississippi is not immune from this issue. Prescribing and dispensing more than 201 million dosage units of opioids to a population of only 2.9 million residents in 2016, Mississippi ranked 5th among all states.
This equates to approximately 70 dosage units of opioids for every man, woman, and child in our state, which contributed to approximately 220 drug related overdose deaths. The road to heroin addiction is paved with prescription opioid addiction. More than 80% of heroin addicts begin with prescription drugs.
Based on current statics regarding heroin related overdose deaths, Forrest County ranked 14th of Mississippi's 82 counties for heroin submissions to the state forensic lab. The Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, in conjunction with its coalition partners will be hosting a Town Hall Meeting on Tuesday, June 27, at 6:30 pm.
This event will be held at the Hattiesburg Lake Terrace Convention Center. Our goal is to educate the residents of the Pine Belt area about the dangers associated with opioid abuse and addiction as well as advising what you can do to help reduce the death and destruction caused by opioid addiction.
We hope to see you, your family, and friends there as we move to improve the quality of life for all residents throughout the state of Mississippi.