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Mercyhurst hosts forum on opioid epidemic

Monday, October 2, 2017

Mercyhurst University will host a panel discussion with staff of the Erie Times-News and those who are leading the fight against the deadly opioid epidemic in Erie County on Monday, Oct. 9, at 7 p.m. The free, public event takes place in Walker Recital Hall of the Hirt Academic Center on the Erie campus.

 

The panel will address treatment resources, the criminal justice system’s response to the epidemic, and hear from families personally affected by the crisis. Dr. David Dausey, Mercyhurst University provost and a leading public health expert, will introduce the discussion.

 

Slated to address the issue of treatment are David Sanner of the Erie County Office of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Jennifer Esper of Esper Treatment Center and Jodie Klus of Gaudenzia Erie. Erie County District Attorney Jack Daneri and Dante Battles of the Erie County Treatment Court will discuss the criminal justice aspect of the problem.

 

Mary Kay Eisert-Wlodarczyk, whose son Collin died of an accidental overdose in 2012, will speak. She helps manage the Lake Erie Youth ROAD Crew, a group of middle and high school students who advocate for healthy lifestyles and educate their peers and the community about the dangers of drugs, bullying and other destructive behaviors. The Crew’s community education trailer “Hidden in Plain Sight,” which simulates a teenager’s bedroom and possible hiding places for drugs, will be on campus and accessible to those who are interested.

 

Erie County Sheriff’s Deputy Chuck Klenk and his son, Jeffrey, who is in recovery, will also be part of the panel.