Meeting at Peoples Church focused on addressing Opioid overdose problem in the Central Valley

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At People?s Church Monday night, about 200 people packed the chapel to discuss the prescription drug (KFSN)

At People's Church Monday night, about 200 people packed the chapel to discuss the prescription drug abuse problem in the Central Valley.

Pamela Smith listened to the panelists talk about the growing epidemic for her this is personal.

"It's been fifteen months and six days today," said Smith.

That is when her 22-year-old son, Jackson, died. He overdosed on counterfeit Oxycodone and Fentanyl.

"I kept asking him are you using and he swore to him he wasn't."

The Center for Disease Control reports more than 40 people each day die from overdosing on powerful pain medications. That is more than the number of people killed in car accidents daily.

And in the Central Valley, those rates are higher than the state average.

Pharmacist Patty Havard is a member of the Central Valley Opioid safety coalition. She says a new state prescription drug monitoring program called "cures" is in place to change that reality.

"We actually have that tool to look at inappropriate prescribing, where patients are going to multiple physicians, so part of our education is to educate providers how to look at the report and how to interpret inappropriate use," said Havard.

And that is what was done at this meeting -- organized by Assemblyman Jim Patterson's office.
He hopes having the conversation will save more lives.

"What do we know about this how can we work together and what is it going to take to see that the epidemic is halted and starts to decline," said Patterson.

Something this grieving mother hopes to see as well.

"I don't want any more parents to go through what I've gone through and what his father has gone through," said Smith.

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