End the Epidemic Louisiana holds event to educate church leaders about opioid epidemic

Published: Sep. 30, 2022 at 3:01 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Pastors from across the ArkLaTex gathered Friday morning (Sept. 30) to learn skills that could save lives within their congregations.

The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) taught faith leaders about what they can do to fight back against the opioid epidemic, which is claiming lives across northwest Louisiana. They learned how to dispose of potentially harmful medications, how to identify signs of opioid abuse, and even how to administer the overdose drug, Narcan. Members of LDH say they specifically want to educate pastors and other church leaders because of the trust the community has for them.

Leaders with the Louisiana Department of Health held an educational event Friday, Sept. 30,...
Leaders with the Louisiana Department of Health held an educational event Friday, Sept. 30, 2022 to teach church leaders how to help those in their congregations dealing with issues with opioids.(KSLA)

“Who’s more trusted than our pastors and ministers that stand before us every Sunday morning? They can go a long way to educate their congregation, to help teach them that this is not a moral failing, not a stigma, that it’s a disease, so that we can go make changes towards decreasing this disease burden,” said Martha Whyte, Region 7 director for LDH.

The event was sponsored by an organization called End the Epidemic Louisiana. The group goes across the state to educate people about the dangers of opioid abuse, how to destroy old prescription drugs safely, and where to get Narcan.