Physicians to Prevent Opioid Abuse will host a Walk and Learning Fair on Saturday to raise awareness about the opioid epidemic and discuss resources available to combat it. 

As policy makers and community leaders discuss ways to combat the crisis, Dr. Michael Roch, of the New Bedford Wellness Initiative, told WBSM's Phil Paleologos that it's very important for physicians to play a major role in these efforts.
"We need to advocate for changes that are important to get people the appropriate care in a lot of ways, we also have to help with public education to get people to understand what the dangers are, what the signs and symptoms are, and also we need to make sure that physicians are prescribing appropriately," said Rocha.
Rocha says progress has been made on this issue at both the state and federal issue.
"The CDC has new guidelines for prescribing drugs and Governor Baker put in brand new laws over the last several months that are going to be aimed at trying to do a better job of controlling pain and a more appropriate way of precribing opioids if necessary," said Rocha.
While there will have a lot information regarding support services for addicts there will also be information available about support services for the families of those battling addiction, a group which Rocha says is often overlooked in the discussion about opioid abuse. 
"We forget sometimes it's not just the person that's struggling with substance use disorder, it's the entire family," said Rocha.
The Walk and Learning Fair will take place at Buttonwood Park from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.