One Year Later: Revisiting Opioids Discussion

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opioidsWELLS RIVER — In November of 2016, the community of Wells River held a meeting discussing the opioid problem in their community. The area revisited that discussion on Thursday evening, in an effort to work towards a solution. Officials from law enforcement, health care, and prevention technicians were just some of the people speaking at the forum.

Wells River Action Program, also known as WRAP, organized the meeting at the Wells River village garage. The group started in the early 90's and is known as a community action group.

"We knew something needed to be done, and because WRAP has been around for so long, we would be the group that would organize the meeting," said Richard Roderick, a member of WRAP.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, there were more than 22,000 deaths involving prescription opioids in 2015 in the United States, compared to 19,000 deaths in 2014.

As of 2014, Vermont ranks last in New England in drug overdose deaths per 100,000. New Hampshire ranked first, followed by Rhode Island, Massachusetts and, Maine.

"This community was at a high state of readiness for something to be done," said Cheryl Chandler, Regional Prevention Partnerships Coordinator at Northern Vermont Regional Hospital.

Last year's forum in Wells River was called "Drugs Are Here," while this year's forum was called "Drugs Are Still Here."

"Even though they're not as noticeable, things in the village are a lot calmer," said Roderick.

The focus of the meeting last night was on the future.

"I think we're going to get good input from that, and I think it will help guide us in the future and what steps we need to take, you know to make our community a great place to live," said Don Waterman, a Wells River Trustee.

Wells River Opioid Talk from NewsLINC on Vimeo.