Local group holds rally against the opioid crisis

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FULTON - A local chapter of FED UP, a nationwide coalition to end the opioid epidemic, held a rally in Fulton Saturday afternoon.

Several of the people who were at the event have been personally affected by the epidemic.

After Christa Daro's ex-husband Jared died of an overdose of a mix of heroin and fentanyl in January 2018, she found a new path for her life.

"I feel like it is my mission now to spread the word on how to find help and let people know they are not alone in the fight," she said. "They don't have to have the stigma of trying to hide the addiction or hide your loved ones' addiction."

Daro and other members of the community shared personal stories about how opioids have affected their lives.

"It gives me hope and a community that we can support each other in the fight against this epidemic," Dora said.

She said the opioid epidemic has affected the entire community. Callaway County Sheriff's Office Lt. Matthew Palmer said opioids are a huge problem. He said of the 17,000 calls deputies have responded to thus far in 2019, drugs have been connected to the vast majority of them.

Moving forward, Daro said she thinks there are steps doctors and surgeons should take when prescribing opioids.

"I'm hoping that more family doctors and general practitioners can get educated," she said. "I feel like the legislators and things like that need to become educated themselves. We need to start treating pain management without drugs. There are other ways to manage pain."

For starters, Daro said prescriptions could be for five days instead of 30. She said she hopes Saturday's event helps educate members of the community on how they can help.

"This doesn't discriminate it comes from all walks of life," Daro said. "Jared was a bright upstanding member of the community. I want people to know they don't have to be ashamed and hide this addiction problem. They can tell someone and get help."