Local group attends national rally for opioid awareness

Photo: WKRN
Photo: WKRN

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Thousands gathering in the nation’s capital Sunday to raise aware for opioid addiction across the country.

The Fed Up! rally kicked off National Heroin and Opioid Awareness week. The goal is to put pressure on Congress to find a solution to the problem, starting with President Barack Obama’s $1.1 billion plan.

Leaders from Addiction Campuses of Tennessee in Murfreesboro are there to speak up as well.

Susan Citro says they want lawmakers to allocate funds for more treatment options. They also want Congress to help regulate prescription drugs and the doctors prescribing them.

“There’s less treatment. If they are not getting treatment, they are going to continue their use so it just seems to be a continuing domino effect.”

Citro says the numbers in the Volunteer State are shocking compared to the national averages. According to Citro, Tennessee ranks at the top in the country with 143 prescriptions per 100 people.

“In Tennessee alone, ages 18-25, they’re using prescription opiates at a much higher rate– 30 percent higher rate than the national average,” Citro told News 2.

She believes the issue has become a national epidemic and needs to be treated accordingly.

“We need to help everyone and we need to get rid of the stigma; the stigma of not seeking treatment.”

Addiction Campuses is a nationwide program to help but in the last 90 days, 10 percent of the calls to the organizations are from people in Tennessee.

If you know someone struggling or needing help, you can contact Addiction Campuses 24/7 hotline at 1-888-512-3321.

For more information on the program, click here.

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