Advocacy group to create opioid task force

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JEFFERSON CITY - The Council for Drug Free Youth will hold a summit Wednesday looking to combat the opioid problem in Cole County. 

The group is going to meet with healthcare and mental health professionals, law enforcement and the general public. 

"Bringing all of those groups together is what's going to be so important about this event because it will be the most successful if we have all those resources and knowledge at the table," said executive director Joy Sweeney. 

A new task force will be formed and made up of five different groups. Their goals are:

  • Reducing the occurrence and impact of babies born opioid-dependent 
  • Improving safe storage and disposal of prescription drugs 
  • Enhancing peer recovery groups 
  • Enhancing and expanding screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment
  • Improving and increasing protective factors for youth

Sweeney said she hopes putting a variety of different people in each group will, "form a big collective body, that can address if there is gaps in the opioid problem." 

Sweeney said the council has been working on this project for almost a year and it has been received well in the community.