The opioid crisis has hit Georgia hard. We are among the top 11 states with the most opioid overdose deaths. However, some communities are struggling more than others. This map from the Washington Post shows how many opioid prescriptions were handled by retail and chain pharmacies vs the number of people in a 5 mile radius. 3 Georgia Pharmacies are on the top 100 list of "Most Pills per Person, Based on County Population" for 2006-2012.
Many addictions to opioids begin with legitimate prescriptions for pain management, but lead to suffering for many families. This crisis has led to an increase in the number of children entering foster care in communities across the country.
You can make a difference in our community by first learning more about the crisis and the toll addiction takes on a family. Next, find a way to help! One potential way is by becoming a CASA - find out more at our CASA Volunteer Orientation on Tuesday, August 20th.
If CASA is not for you, then you could find another organization to volunteer with, such as The Ark, Sparrow's Nest, Advantage Behavioral Health, or Athens Recovery Fest! We can all make a difference, and we are ALL needed to make a difference.
We are thrilled to announce that Lauren Hill, our former Family Time Program Coordinator, will be joining the Athens-Oconee CASA team as our new Advocacy Coordinator! Throughout her many years with Children First, Inc., she has worked with every program we have - starting with SafeCare, then SPARC, then Family Time, and now CASA. Her passion for the child welfare field comes from her own personal experiences, and her work with Children First has provided her with a wealth of additional knowledge. We are so excited to see the impact her knowledge and experience will have on the CASA Program and the children we serve.
Take a look at what the Athens Oconee CASA means to our local volunteers in the video below. Their contributions provide stability, inspiration, support, and healing to foster children around the community. As Catherine Tillman says, it is "love in action."
Be sure to like and subscribe the Athens Oconee CASA channel to spread the word about CASA!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.