City hosts Fairbanks Symposium on Opioids
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - From May 16 to 18, the Wedgewood Resort in Fairbanks hosted workshops, panels and experts for the Fairbanks Symposium on Opioids.
Marsha Oss, Reentry Coalition Coordinator and organizer for the event, explained, “We wanted to start a conversation in the community, to break down stigma and release ideas that people have.”
Nonprofits from around the community and the state came to share their knowledge and to inspire residents to do what they can to fight the Opioid crisis. “This is a part of everyone’s story. Everybody is touched by this,” Oss said.
Tools to fight Opioid abuse include peer support and education.
On Tuesday, Sandy Snodgrass with AK Fentanyl Response helped to guide attendees in creating a kit for Naloxone, a treatment that counteracts the effects of an overdose. “Anyone, anywhere, could have a Naloxone kit and potentially save a life, so today, we’re going to build 300 Naloxone kits that each have, it has gloves, it has two doses of Kloxxado, which is 8 milligram Naloxone,” Snodgrass said.
Snodgrass lost her son, Bruce, to a Fentanyl overdose in 2021. Since then, she’s been a vocal proponent of education about opioids and Fentanyl. “Fairbanks, I think, is leading the way in Alaska on Fentanyl response,” she said.
Snodgrass compared Fentanyl response in a community to a three-legged stool. “One of those is law enforcement, the other is prevention, and the third is treatment, and you have to press on all three legs, and Fairbanks is doing that.”
“We’re a neighborhood. We are community members, and if it hurts you, it hurts me,” said Oss.
Snodgrass shared a message with the community, that deadly doses of Fentanyl can be found in any illicitly obtained drug, even marijuana. “All illicit drugs have to be considered contaminated with enough Fentanyl to kill you.”
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