In conjunction with Utah’s ongoing battle to end the opioid epidemic that plagues its citizens, a Rural Opioid Health and Wellness Summit was hosted at USU Eastern on July 18 and 19, welcoming many from far and wide.
Kicking off on Thursday morning, the summit opened with registration and breakfast at the Jennifer Leavitt Student Center (JLSC). A Tai Chi wellness activity was also hosted for those that wished to participate. Throughout the course of the summit, those that needed a break were welcome to the calming room, which was found in the campus store.
All of the stops were pulled out for this event, with a plethora of activities, keynote speakers, narratives, trainings and more.
A free legal clinic was provided by the University of Utah and Brigham Young University, naloxone trainings were presented, attendees were able to peruse community resource booths and there were even counselors on hand to speak.
While the keynote speakers and various narratives had many great points of view and harrowing tales on opioid addiction as a whole, a common and important theme was present throughout the course of the summit. This theme was striving to do all possible to end the stigma that surrounds opioid addiction and see those that have a dependency as sick rather than weak.
The event closed with an opportunity drawing at the Geary Events Center by Kenneth White, Vice President of the USU Extension program, as well as Ashley Yaugher and Michelle Chapoose.