Substance use disorder education event planned

Published 3:08 pm Thursday, September 28, 2017

PIKEVILLE – Shaping Our Appalachian Region, Inc. (SOAR) Healthy Communities is partnering with the University of Pikeville-Kentucky (UPIKE) College of Osteopathic Medicine (KYCOM) to host a substance use disorder education event on Oct. 3, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Health Professionals Education Building (Kentucky College of Optometry) at UPIKE. SOAR and UPIKE invite health professionals and stakeholders who share the vision of reducing the scope and impact of substance use disorder and related consequences through education, awareness, prevention, and access to services. The event is free but space is limited and registration is required. On-site lunch is sponsored by Morehead State University Department of Nursing.

“We are facing an opioid crisis in Eastern Kentucky that is threatening our livelihood and way of life,” says Dr. Joshua Crum, associate dean of clinical affairs, KYCOM. “In an effort to combat the drug abuse epidemic in our region, the University of Pikeville-Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine is strengthening partnerships and ensuring our students are prepared to be on the forefront of ending the devastation to our communities.

SOAR and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have partnered for more than two years to build a more connected network of health-focused organizations, institutions, federal partners, and individuals in Appalachia. This network readily comes together to share best practices and work collaboratively to enhance community health initiatives.

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The issue of substance use is complicated and multifactorial. Successful solutions must be grounded in the uniqueness of the communities that make up the Appalachian Region. Speakers at the substance use disorder event will provide evidence-based guidelines, discuss how to integrate prevention and management into practice in a rural setting, and provide resources and tools to help current and future providers in Appalachia turn the tide on the substance use epidemic.

“Substance use disorder is a real issue in every community in the SOAR region,” says Jared Arnett, executive director of SOAR. “This epidemic has touched every single person in our region in some way, shape, or form. A groundswell of meaningful solutions and best practices has evolved from the work of countless individuals and organizations that are passionate about treating those battling substance use disorder.”

The event is being live streamed at numerous locations across the region. To find the location nearest you and to register to attend in person or via live stream, visit

You can also access the live stream at