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Muskegon Opiate Summit brings a message of hope this year

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In an effort to bring awareness to the ongoing opioid epidemic along the Lakeshore, the Muskegon County Opiate Summit is returning for its third year as organizers work to bring awareness to the issue. Hosted by Muskegon based HealthWest, the Muskegon County Opiate Summit this year wants to bring inspiration to those affected by opiate abuse by highlighting those who have beaten the disease, and who have found hope on the other side of addiction.

And those stories of victory over opioids are worth telling, says Pam Beane, the director of Substance Use Services at HealthWest and chairperson of the Muskegon County Opiate Task Force. She says, so many of those struggling with opioids never seek treatment, because so many feel their lives aren’t worth saving.

“Well unfortunately, only 1 percent with a substance abuse disorder seek treatment because they are looked at as ‘less than’ in society,” Beane said.

The term opioid crisis is often used in the media, but just how bad is it on the Lakeshore? Well, according to data from the Muskegon County Medical Examiner’s office, accidental overdoses in 2018 involving opiates were responsible for more deaths than vehicle accidents and drownings combined.

The summit will take place from 3-6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 24, at the Delta Hotels by Marriott Muskegon Downtown. The event is free.

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