Future nurses to hold opioid symposium

Published 9:52 pm Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Paul D. Camp Community College’s Nursing Class of 2019 will host the second annual Opioid Epidemic Symposium in Franklin in late June.

The symposium will feature a film and multiple guest speakers to educate others about the opioid crisis nationally and locally.

“It’s becoming a big problem, so I think people should be informed about it, and we really want to get the information out,” said nursing student Bethany Brinkley. “This is extremely important, because it is becoming so big. It’s really good to be educated about it. “

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The nursing students have chosen the documentary “Chasing the Dragon: The Life of an Opiate Addict” to play at the symposium. The film was produced by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Agency.

The purpose of the film is to educate students and young adults about the dangers of addiction. It walks viewers through the lives of addicts and how their opiate addiction started and the dangers that are associated with the addiction.

“It was mainly chosen to educate people about the dangers of addiction. The FBI and DEA were trying to make an effort to stop the growing epidemic,” said nursing student Jessica Revels.

A large part of the symposium is to educate those attending about the addiction and how to help those that may need it.

Speakers will also be at the event to give different perspectives about the opioid epidemic and addiction.

Two speakers will be able to give a more personal perspective to those attending the symposium. A recovering addict will be speaking, and Michael Dail, a Suffolk resident, will tell his daughter’s story and provide resources.

Dail’s daughter, Tori Dail, died from a heroin overdose in 2016, and since then Dail has made a point to be an opiate awareness advocate.

“I’m going to go over some information about opioids and how the numbers have gotten worse and worse, and I’ll go over comparisons of death rates and how strong these new synthetic opioids are,” Dail said. “I’ll go through mostly current stuff.”

He has given the same information at high schools already, and he has even spoken at Tori’s alma mater, Nansemond-Suffolk Academy. His advocacy continues with a support group for parents that have lost children to opioid addiction. The group, Peace for Parents, can be found on Facebook along with Dail’s other page, Telling Tori’s Story.

“I hoping that they can educate themselves and understand that there is no stigma, because addiction is an actual disease,” Dail said. “I want to let people know that recovery works.”

The nursing program has also invited Meredith Wrenn, a licensed counselor, and Emily Brewer, the 64th District delegate in the Virginia General Assembly.

“Mrs. Brewer is very involved in the community, and she cares about what is going on,” said nursing student Dawn Wilson. “She wants to see things get better in the community and make things better.”

The symposium will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. June 28 at the Workforce Development Center, 100 N. College Drive, Franklin. Resources will be available for Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous.