ADECA, Auburn University partner for free workshop to combat prescription drug abuse

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -  The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is joining forces with Auburn University to fight prescription drug abuse.

On Tuesday, a free workshop was held in Huntsville to help people better understand how to tackle the problem.

Pharmacists, medical professionals and law enforcement officers filled a conference room to discuss ways to end prescription drug abuse in Alabama.

"Auburn University approached us about a year ago with an idea of putting this conference together because of the opioid abuse problem we have here in the state," said ADECA Law Enforcement Program Supervisor Brian Forster.

Forster said in his 10 years working in drug prevention, treatment and enforcement programs, it's rare to see all of these professions in one room. He believes this will correct the lack of communication that can take place.

"I would like for all three to understand the role that each of them plays," said Forster.

According to ADECA, our state has one of the highest rates of prescription pain medication sold per 10,000 residents.

While the use of these medications can provide relief for many, it provides problems when they get into the wrong hands.

"The enforcement guys can speak on the law enforcement stand point on what they see with the opioid abuse problem, as well as the medical profession explaining why they prescribe certain things on their end, as well as what kind of options pharmacists have," said Forster.

"They're kind of the in-between of the problem between both the prescribing problem and the enforcement problem."

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