October 23 Event Addresses Opioid Epidemic
Oct 22, 2018
Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan has teamed up with The Sports Marketing Agency and the NFL Alumni Detroit Chapter to organize a Detroit event to address the opioid crisis. The Sports Impact Luncheon is set for 11:30 to 1:30 pm October 23 at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament on Woodward Avenue. Current and former NFL players and civic leaders will gather for a candid conversation about how to fight this addiction epidemic. Master of Ceremonies Huel Perkins from Fox 2 News Detroit will lead an interactive panel discussion with Detroit Lions running back Theo Riddick, NFL legend Lomas Brown, former Wolverine wide receiver Braylon Edwards, and The Honorable Karen Braxton, Judge of the Third Circuit Court (Family Division – Juvenile Section) as they share their experiences of how addiction affects everyone. During the last year, opioid deaths reached record levels in Michigan. Nearly 2000 of all 2,700 overdose deaths in the state were related to opioids. The county with the highest number of opioid deaths is Wayne County (573), almost double the next county, Macomb (265). About one third of all opioid deaths are due to prescription drug use. “We have two issues causing these numbers to increase: athletes and under privileged youth,” said Brown. “With prescription pain medications being prescribed at a rapid rate to high school and college athletes, and even players in the NFL to combat injuries or chronic pain, addiction can quickly escalate to other opioid-related abuse. This crisis does not discriminate, and it is important we draw attention to the issues impacting athletes before it’s too late.” “Substance use increases a teen’s likelihood of criminal activity and interaction with the juvenile justice system,” said Judge Braxton. “The court recognizes that incarceration in a residential facility does not address the issue with our youth and substance use. The more effective approach requires a partnership between the courts and the community to provide services and support to not only the youth, but also to their family. With the collaboration between the courts, community stakeholders, and family, we can break the cycle of substance abuse and crime.” All proceeds from this event will benefit Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan’s Mental Health and Substance Abuse Counseling ministry, as well as other community organizations dedicated to serving those affected by the opioid addiction crisis: Grace Centers of Hope, Metro East Corporation in Detroit, and Team Cares, Incorporated. Catholic Charities would like to thank additional event sponsors Alliance Catholic Credit Union, Walgreens, and Weingartz.