Panel discussion brings awareness to drug crisis in the state - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Panel discussion brings awareness to drug crisis in the state

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BILLINGS, Mont. -

The Mental Health Friends Network  of Billings First United Methodist Church brought an expert panel to Billings Sunday to discuss opioid use and abuse. The panel discussion aims to raise awareness on the issue of opioid addiction and to start a conversation that includes the faith community.

Dozens of people attended the panel discussion to listen to the seven expert guests on the panel. One of the guests was Christi Beals with the Rimrock Foundation who said talking about addiction within the community is essential.

"Community awareness about substance abuse disorder, helping our community understand the crisis that we're facing with drugs, alcohol, opioids and methamphetamines," Beals said.

Dave Kobold is one of the members in the audience who said talking openly about the drug problem in the city should occur more often.

"It's been a practice for so long that people brush things like that under the rug and it's just so important that people understand that it's a huge impact on the community," Kobold said.

Carol Linde is another listener from the audience who explained what she took away from the panel discussion.

"Something that really caught my attention right at the end is when John Keenan said we have to quit being friends to our kids because I think that's often the problem," Linde said. "We praise them for everything they do and yet, we aren't there to really guide them as much as we need to."

The drug crisis in the city now has a silver lining.

"We just continue to educate people and partner and do what's right for our community," Beals added. "And we take a stance."
 

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