Women United Examine Opioid Crisis

United Way of Central Alabama’s Women United recently hosted a Lunch and Learn on the Opioid Crisis and its impact on women. The panelists included Beth Bachelor, Fellowship House; Meg McGlamery, The Crisis Center; Ashley McCord, Recovery Resource Center; Yvonne Thomas, Connecting Creative Communities Community and Kendra McDole, UAB Psychiatry; with Leslie Plaia, Recovery Resource Center serving as the moderator.

Plaia asked everyone to look around the room and raise their hand if they knew someone who has been affected by addiction and more than half the room held up their hand. McGlamery then challenged everyone to realize how important mental health is and talk about it in his or her workplaces while being encouraging to those who suffer.

The event began with panelists giving background information on how opioids have become the overly used substance they are today. Many people who suffer from opioid addiction are also using other drugs. McDole, UAB Dept. of Psychiatry: Community Justice Programs Case Manager, said, “In family court, we see a whole lot of opioid use with many of those clients also using meth or cocaine.” Fellowship House Executive Director, Beth Bachelor, explained how massive the mixing of drugs is right now and many people do not truly know what drugs they are using.

The Lunch and Learn wrapped up with panelists sharing resources available to women and families affected by opioid use such as the Recovery Resource Center and UAB’s Comprehensive Addiction in Pregnancy Program (CAPP), which provides treatment to pregnant mothers, so they can keep their babies once they are born.

Women United, a United Way of Central Alabama affinity group with the mission to inspire, educate, and motivate women to become positive change-agents within our community through philanthropy, leadership, and volunteerism, is currently accepting new members. Members of Women United are committed to giving $1,000 or more annually to United Way of Central Alabama. For more information, please contact Amy Scofield at ascofield@uwca.org.