By April Thomas-Jones
In our world of opioid addiction, alcoholism and other drug addictions it is important that we remain armed and vigilant to protect our families, our neighbors, and ourselves against this common enemy. In Philadelphia all death rates were higher in 2016 than the prior year, and all races saw an increase in opioid-related overdose rates. Whites were most at risk, with rates more than double those experienced by African-Americans, and 50% higher than those experienced by Hispanics.
This is affecting us all. We are a diverse community and it is more important than ever that we join together to support those struggling with addiction. The Mayor’s office has created a task force, and joined with the Department of Health to fight this epidemic. We must educate ourselves and not ignore this crisis. Our local doctors and treatment centers can help provide educational information. You can visit online sources such as SAMHSA, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which provide educational information and other useful resources; likewise, the Prevention Point of Philadelphia provides education and training to expand access to naloxone.
We must support those struggling through this journey. The Old Pine Community Center supports and believes we must always provide a safe haven for those struggling with addiction. All are welcome and we provide a place they are able to share their thoughts, experiences, fears and hopes. Together, as a community, is the only way we can defeat this common enemy.
Join us in the fight again substance abuse, no one can be left behind.
* Statistics from the Department of Public Health