FERRUM, Va. – As more and more of our family, friends and neighbors continue to die from opioid abuse, people packed Ferrum College to try to put a stop to it.
Roanoke award-winning author Beth Macy headlined the opioid symposium at Ferrum Monday night. Her book, Dopesick, details opioids' grip on rural Appalachia. She sat on a panel with other local leaders talking about the issue, going on late into the evening. Macy has done more than a dozen of these forums across the region and said Franklin County impressed her.
"The level of engagement from the people, I mean we have people in recovery, people who have lost children, I mean I signed books before the event for mothers who have lost kids and just the fact that they want to come out and they want to get the message across that this can happen to anybody is impressive," Macy said.
A hot topic of Monday's conversation was harm reduction methods including needle exchange programs. Franklin County sheriff Bill Overton was on the panel, and like some other top cops in the area said he's not completely sold on the idea.