Combatting Overdose in DeSoto County

“Truth Behind the Numbers” panel discussion set for Aug. 24

opioid addiction and overdose is the number one killer in desoto countyDeSoto County has the dubious distinction of being first among Mississippi counties in heroin and opioid overdose.

More and more people realize it’s an epidemic. But what can DeSoto County do about it?

American Addiction Centers (AAC) and Oxford Treatment Center will pose this question during a panel conversation with local experts called “Truth Behind the Numbers: DeSoto County.”

The event is set for Thursday, Aug. 24 from 6-8 p.m. at Longview Heights Baptist Church in Olive Branch. The public is invited.

Angela Quadrani AAC treatment consultant

“There is still so much fear and stigma when we talk about drug addiction,” said Angela Quadrani, event moderator.

Based in Memphis and DeSoto County as an AAC treatment consultant, Quadrani has seen first-hand the tragic effects when families are afraid to reach out for help for a loved one.

“Families feel so isolated in their experience,” she said. “They need to know they are not alone — and that whatever their situation, there are local resources to help them.”

Quadrani said that friends and family members often hold back from seeking help for a loved one because they fear legal consequences. A loved one’s unwillingness to go to treatment is also a common obstacle, she said.

“As a community, we need to pool our resources to give families more options,” she said. “We also need to talk about how you can work with the judicial system, instead of staying silent for fear of getting in trouble.”

Each Truth Behind the Numbers panelist brings an in-the-trenches perspective and a dedication to saving lives. DeSoto County Sheriff Bill Rasco will introduce the panelists. Those speaking are:

  • Sgt. Mike Cowan, Special Investigations Division – Narcotics, DeSoto County Sheriff’s Department
  • Kevin Smith, SWAT medic, DeSoto County Sheriff’s Department
  • Dr. Ken Thompson, medical director, DeSoto County Detention Facility and DeSoto County EMS
  • Bethany Morse, recovery advocate and NARCAN Trainer

Other organizations on hand to share their resources will include:

American Addiction Centers provides comprehensive, research-based treatment for drug and alcohol addiction at 35 facilities across the country. Its Oxford Treatment Center operates four facilities in north Mississippi, including an outpatient office in Olive Branch.

To learn more about Truth Behind the Numbers or for help related to addiction:
Angela Quadrani
AAC/Oxford Treatment Center
(901) 484-1929


Understanding Opioid Overdose

Each day in the United States, 91 people die from an opioid-related overdose, and the numbers are increasing.

In observance of International Overdose Awareness Day on August 31, American Addiction Centers (AAC) and Recovery Brands have launched a nationwide awareness campaign on how to prevent deaths from opioid overdoses. Learn how an overdose impacts a body, how to administer overdose medication, and what lessons overdose survivors learned during their darkest hours.

At Death's Door: A Look at Opioid Overdose and its Victims



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