On April 24, 2018, Cairn’s School of Social Work hosted a seminar on the opioid crisis and addiction as part of the Bucks Country Blitz, a cluster of over 50 community-organized events that focused on addiction awareness, recovery, and advocacy. These events took place throughout the two weeks leading up to the “Together We Can Convention,” which took place last on Saturday, April 28.
All of these events were dedicated to strategically combating the opioid crisis in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the United States is only 5% of the world’s population, but consumes 75% of the world’s prescription drugs. National data also shows that as of 2016, opiate overdose is the leading cause of death of young people in the United States.
“Thousands of people who are created in the image of God are dying and much of the church is silent,” says Dr. Lloyd Gestoso, dean of the School of Social Work, “May we pray, prepare, and respond to the opportunity to minister to the tragedy of this decade.”
This on-campus seminar was led by guest speaker and former Cairn student, Elvis Rosado. Rosado finds inspiration for his work in his own story as a former drug addict and the countless stories of other addicts. With over 20 years of professional experience in combating addictions, Rosado serves as the coordinator of education and community outreach for Prevention Point Philadelphia. Prevention Point Philadelphia is a non-profit, public health organization committed to protecting the health and welfare of drug users and sex workers. Last year, Rosado oversaw 2,000 individuals who received training on reviving those who overdose on opiates, and he and his coworkers personally revived 42 people who had overdosed.
Rosado’s training seminar covered the causes of this drug addiction, various kinds of overdose, how to recognize the signs of an overdose, and how to respond to an overdose if present. He talked about how the pervasive issue of drug addiction is rooted in over-prescribing.
Above all, Rosado states that we must “remind people they are still human beings. They may live in a bad situation, but they are not worthless. Everyone deserves that moment.”
For those interested in learning more about those who are fighting the Bucks County opioid crisis, visit truthspeaks.net.