Florida State University’s Center for the Study and Promotion of Communities, Families and Children (CFC Center) at the College of Social Work and its partners have invited scholars from across the country to address opioid use in rural America at a symposium later this month.
The symposium, Opioid Use Disorders and Rural Resilience, will take place March 30-31 at the Augustus B. Turnbull III Florida State Conference Center. Speakers will discuss ways to improve resilience and expand awareness of opioid and stimulant use, harm reduction and treatment options in the rural regions of the Southeastern United States.
“Through the symposium, we are bringing experts from many states and disciplines to discuss the best ways to mitigate the impact of opioid addiction on vulnerable and disenfranchised populations,” said Ellen Piekalkiewicz, director of the CFC Center. “The overdose death rate for rural areas has surpassed the death rate for urban and suburban areas.”
The event is presented by the CFC Center’s Southeast Rural Opioid Technical Assistance Regional Center, which was established in October 2022 through a $1.3 million, two-year grant from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services to combat the opioid epidemic in Southeastern states.
The grant and its resulting initiatives, including the upcoming symposium, focus on assisting 168 rural counties across Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina.
FSU alumnus Mike Ortoll, who founded the Christine Ortoll Recovery Organization in memory of his daughter and her struggle with addiction, will discuss a call to action to change the conversation about addiction and recovery as the symposium’s keynote speaker.
The symposium is open to the general public, along with faculty, staff and students. Attendees will be provided with eight continuing education units, a Deterra drug disposal bag, and a free copy of the book “The Opioid Fix: America’s Crisis and the Solution They Don’t Want You to Have” by Barbara Andraka-Christou, an assistant professor at the University of Central Florida.
Seats are limited and registration closes on March 22.
To register, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/opioid-use-disorder-symposium-tickets-505302793257.