Drug Free WilCo will be hosting an opioid crisis prevention workshop for lead pastors of all churches and faith-based organizations Monday at Baird Chapel at Cumberland University from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Michael Ayalon, the secretary and treasurer of the Drug Free WilCo board, believes that pastors and faith-based leaders are the best messengers for opioid resources.

"They have built in networks in their churches," Ayalon said. "The first person a family in Wilson County would call if they had a problem with opioids is their pastor."

Ayalon says that the opioid crisis is having a major impact on Wilson County.

"The prescribing rate in Wilson County is 91.4 prescriptions per 100 people. That's compared to the national average of 66.5 prescriptions," Ayalon said. "From 2006 to 2012, Wilson County was prescribed 37 million pain pills. That's enough for every person in Wilson County to have 48 pills per year."

Over 200 pastors will be in attendance on Monday evening. Dinner will be served

See Event/page A6


and attendees will hear from a number of speakers and panels on how to battle the opioid crisis.

"We're going to discuss all kinds of resources in Wilson County and talk about our new youth division of Drug Free WilCo," Ayalon said. "We'll also discuss some of our future projects that we're hoping to complete by June of 2020."

Paul Stumb, president of Cumberland University, and Monty Burks, the state director for Tennessee Faith Based Initiatives will also be speaking.

"We also have a really exciting announcement on Monday evening," Ayalon said. "We'll be sharing some great information about our future plans."

For more information, go to drugfreewilco.org.

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