Drug summit brings new strategy, continued support

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JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS)– The number of deadly drug overdoses dropped this year, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

But drug use is still an issue in mid-Michigan.

The key to fighting a drug crisis is adapting your strategy. That’s what officials at Drug Free Jackson say helped reduce the number of fatal overdoses.

“We are seeing a decrease in the heroin and opioid overdoses,” substance use prevention specialist Emma Sigman says. :As we see that decline we’re seeing other overdose cases rise, like methamphetamine, so different drugs are on the rise there.”

This year’s summit brought in new strategies like teaching people how to use life-saving medicine during overdoses and expanding their reach beyond opioids.

Some things stayed constant over the last six years, including the feeling of support for everyone who came regardless of their background.

“I’ve been seeing that every year, the community has continued to support this,” says Hakim Crampton, who attends the summit each year, “and continued to find ways to build a stronger community base of support for substance abuse treatment in our community.”

Drug Free Jackson wants to keep educating people and continue partnering with other community groups to tackle drug use in the area.

“It’s a county-wide, a community-wide issue,” Sigman says, “so it takes everyone’s help to kind of combat it.”

Officials hope that the workshops and programming will allow people to walk away with concrete steps that they can take to save themselves and their loved ones.

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