(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The Buchanan County Opioid Task Force and Addiction Help Now hosted the free 2019 Northwest Missouri Opioid Summit at Missouri Western State University on Tuesday.
The summit brings in many different organizations connected to fighting the opioid crises. Organizers say this summit was in reaction to participants wanting more after the opioid summit held in 2017. So, the goal was to create more by facilitating conversations between those on all fronts of the opioid crisis.
"It's such a multifaceted issue," said Nancy King from the St. Joseph Health Department. "We need all of us, all of the partners to work together because we have the resources."
According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, one out of every three families in the state is affected by opioid addiction.
Lacie Walker knows that statistic well. She started using opioids in 2006 and struggled with addiction for six years before she got clean in 2012. The 2019 Northwest Missouri Opioid Summit began with her story of addiction then triumph over opioids.
"I feel like the community is coming together who obviously want to support the opioid and that is a big deal," Walker said. "Back when I was going through it [recovery] I felt really alone, I came from a good family but I felt really alone because I did not know all of the places to go."
The summit was broken into a morning and afternoon session with small breaks for networking scheduled throughout the day.
"That's how we are going to beat this," said Dr. Robert Corder, a physician at the St. Kolbe-Puckett Center for Healing. "The government isn't going to just come and treat our patients for us, we need to work together. We [the St. Kolbe-Puckett Center] do help a lot of people but we aren't the only ones and people need to know about all of the resources."