Substance abuse prevention focus of two-day summit in Jackson

JACKSON, Tenn. — A local coalition is educating organizations on the war on drugs.

The Jackson-Madison Prevention Coalition hosted their 2nd Annual Prevention Summit in Jackson.

“We focus on substance use prevention just across the whole spectrum,” said JMPC Coordinator Kirsten Wilson. “We do tobacco, alcohol, prescription drugs, stimulants and marijuana prevention. We wanted to come together and do a lot of education on those topics.”

Wilson says the two-day event featured a list of speakers with expertise in substance abuse, suicide prevention, and drug recovery.

“Stimulants, we did an overdose prevention training, we had someone talk about the addicted brain and look at the neuro-chemistry behind addiction. Really bring awareness to the issue of substance abuse disorders,” Wilson said.

According to TBI Special Agent Tommy Farmer, the United States currently ranks #1 in the consumption of hydrocodone. And methamphetamine had the highest number of submissions into the TBI Crime Lab in 2021.

Beverly Hensley with Stephen’s Rescue Ministry says staying informed provides organizations with the tools to succeed.

“You need to stay well informed, and you need to be aware of things that change, to develop and take that and take it out to the public to educate them yourself,” Hensley said.

And hopefully that knowledge can save more lives.

“Someone offers you something, and you don’t know what to say, the panic response is often ‘yes.’ If I can educate people and they can make those educated decisions for themselves beforehand, they are more likely to stick to that,” said Wilson.

“You have to break the cycle,” Hensley said. “I think education and educating the public offer them opportunities of hope, and to see that there is a better way, there is a better way of life.”

For a list of resources on substance abuse prevention, click here.

For more news in the Jackson area, click here.

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