Every day, more than 130 people in the United States die due to an opioid overdose, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
This epidemic has touched homes across the United States, including in the Golden Isles. Significant attention has been paid to raising awareness among adults and providing treatment opportunities to those in need. But another affected group cannot be forgotten — the children of those suffering from substance abuse and addiction issues.
An event to educate youth about the dangers posed by substance abuse and overdose is in the early planning stages. The Regional Community Collaborative plans to host an awareness event in March of 2020, and the group is inviting the community to get involved in the planning.
The event is tentatively planned to take place on College of Coastal Georgia’s campus.
The RCC is a group of representatives from local nonprofits and other organizations. They meet monthly to plan events and programs that can benefit the community.
“It’s not a meeting about a meeting,” said Honey Sparre, chair of the local RCC, at the most recent meeting on June 27. “We need to get together and do something.”
The group plans to have food, entertainment and speakers, all of which will be catered to reaching a younger audience.
The RCC discussed at the meeting possibly having a drinking and driving simulator at the event, as well as an overdose re-enactment. They also plan to bring young mentors into the mix who will be on-hand at the event to talk with the youth in attendance. Certified counselors will also take part in the event.
A resource fair will be offered at the event, at which community organizations will set up tables and provide information about local services that are available.
The RCC meets on the fourth Thursday of every month at 1 p.m. at the Brunswick library. The next meeting will take place July 25, and the meetings are open to the community.
“We welcome ideas and help making those ideas happen, to better our community,” Sparre said.