Editorial: Fighting the opioid epidemic

Editorial: Fighting the opioid epidemic
(Source: WALB)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - An opioid epidemic is sweeping the nation, and is being seen increasingly in South Georgia.

Dougherty County leaders were alarmed, seeing more teenagers and students overdosing on pain-killers, and took action.

Tuesday morning thousands of the Dougherty County public and private schools students attended a realistic re-enactment of an opioid overdose incident.

Dougherty County EMS, the Dougherty County coroner, Phoebe Putney Hospital, Albany Police, Dougherty County Police and the Dougherty High School drama and theater program all took part in hosting the re-enactment.

The students saw a re-enactment of students at a party using opioids, leading to three deaths, one serious sickness, and students being arrested.

They were shown how those actions will impact not only the students, but their families.

It was very quiet in the Civic Center when they watched their classmates being covered with a sheet, and then put inside a body bag.

A mother of a 20-year-old, who died from a heroin overdose after battling an opioid addiction, spoke to the students, and a prosecutor from the District Attorney's office talked about the law.

WALB also was glad to take part by recording the program, so the re-enactment can be shown to others…

"I think they will take the message we are trying to provide to them today to their friends in the community," said Dougherty Co. School Superintendent Kenneth Dyer.  "To help stop this epidemic."

We applaud the Dougherty County leaders for seeing this problem, and taking action, to try to educate these students before graduation parties start.

We hope the students who attended, learned from their efforts, and will heed the message that opioids are powerful narcotics meant for sick people, and will not provide a good time.

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