The discussion on solving opioid abuse continued on Wednesday night at the Dartmouth Middle School.

Professionals from different fields lead the forum by speaking about their experience with drug addicts, and how to possibley help break the habbit.

St. Luke's Emergbency Medicine Department Chair, Jennifer Pope was among the panelists. She described the wide variety of drug addiction cases she has seen while at St. Luke's, from elderly addicts to young people going through withdrawls.

Resident Linda Waxler also offered her experience losing her son to opioid abuse. She believes one of the keys to solving the crisis will be in brain research.

"It's first personality, and then it's genes. Every family has some addiction somewhere, and if you have that addictive gene you're much more willing to take that risk, you're much more willing to try drugs," Waxler says.

Resident John Rider offered his thoughts to the forum, as well. He stressed the damage of stigmitizing language toward addicts, saying it's important to remember that addicts are people too.

"What is gona happen is if people are putting you down and saying, 'You're a loser, you're nothing but a scumbag, you're a cheat...' the person is going to give up before they get clean," Rider says.

The group that organized the event, Community Offering Prevention & Education, hopes to hold similar community forums in the future.

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