Muskegon Metro Area News
  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

The opiate crisis has been complicated by a couple of factors.  The pandemic is one of them.  Increased isolation and fear, turn people to seek relief from anything, including self medication that can lead to addiction.  The second, is a bit of a surprise and to hear it from those who spend day after day working to help others break the cycle of recidivism and addiction is an alarming fact that you should really listen to.


With the legalization of marijuana, off shore drug dealers are turning to manufacturing synthetic opiates that are called Fentanyl and the strength of this synthetic combined with the low cost of production and the big it's being slipped in to what people think is one thing, like a joint or something with less potential harm and then they end up dead or needing NARCAN because of the hit.  It's a growing problem and a team is coming together to help answer questions, instruct those who work in the field and share real life experiences with those who are struggling or have a friend or family member who is enslaved by addiction. opiateLakeshore Opiate Task Force

Joe Whalen is the CEO of Fresh Coast Alliance in Muskegon and he's also the Chair of the Muskegon Community Opiate Task Force and August 2nd the 2022 Lakeshore Muskegon Community Opiate Taskforce Summit is happening at the VanDyk Mortgage Center and it's open to anyone who'd like to learn more as a service provider in the recovery community or as someone who deals with addiction in another level.  The event is from 8:30a-3p.  Breakfast and lunch are served for those in physical attendance and continuing education credits are available for those who need to advance their training in the fields. There will be streaming options as well.  You will find all of the details in the QR code below.  

The goal of the summit this year is simple.  End the stigma surrounding addiction.  I could end it for you right here, but it it might take a little more convincing for some.  I will give you the first step.  Admit it.  Addiction won.  There's nothing wrong with being beaten by an enemy that you can't win against.  Admitting it is freedom, you'll hear a little more testifying in the video.  Promise.  To help you with the convincing, leaders in the field will be on hand speaking.  Rachel Cooper will be discussing breaking the stigma.  She's from the National Stigma Initiative Shatterproof.  Dr. James Twesten-O'Toole from Trinity Health will be speaking on the addicted mind.  Andy Foster from the MSP will be on hand as well as other speakers that will address the destructiveness and loss that addiction causes.

Joe and I met up for a first visit on this upcoming event.  There will be continuing coverage on the Muskegon Channel leading up to August 2nd.  Take a listen.


It's time to take a step in the right direction for all of us. Addiction is slavery. We've all been cooped up long enough and for some, that isolation has added to their desperation and fueled their addiction.  There's help.  There's help that doesn't involve jail or death.  A great first step is this Summit on August 2nd.  Learn.  Go there.  Be afraid if you have to.  I promise you this.  No harm will come of knowing more and what's being offered here for either the addict, or those who work to help those suffering from addiction will be wiser for the experience.  

Scan the QR code in the image below and register for this event ASAP.  We'd love to fill the Convention Center so we can have a community who better understands addiction.

conference announcement 11 17 in Infographic 2 003