Health ‘rally’ aims to help people kick substance abuse

Published 12:03 pm Thursday, August 10, 2023

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On Wednesday, the Lincoln County Health Department partnered with Walmart and numerous local treatment providers to host a community overdose-awareness event. The idea to host the event came from Lincoln County Health Department community health worker Justin Vandeventer.

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“It started out as an event I communicated about with the Kentucky Pharmacists Association and Kentucky Department of Public Health Harm Reduction,” Vandeventer said. “I have been planning this since April and over time has grown to include more and more community partners. We have done a really good job of lining up all the resources available to people in the county. It has turned into a public health rally.”

Vandeventer organized thew event because he passionate about helping people with substance abuse disorders.

“I am personally in recovery myself from substance abuse, I am going on seven years sober,” Vandeventer said. “At the same time it is a great way for these different agencies to show what they provide in the community. I have to give it up to our public health director Judy Collins. She has really given me an opportunity to plan this and run with it.”

Vandeventer hopes the event can help fight the stigma against substance abuse issues.

“Especially in rural communities it is constantly seen in a negative light,” Vandeventer said. “It is seen as something to be ashamed of. Or you have the country boy mentality of pull yourself up by your bootstraps and deal with it by yourself. I hope to show that it is not something that you have to be ashamed of and hide in the shadows with.”

To show his support for the event, Stanford Mayor Dalton Miller stopped by to visit with the providers and attendees.

“It is a great opportunity to get the word out that we have people out here that care and are willing to help anyone in this community, or outside this community,” Miller said. “We have got people from all over today who are willing to put forward a hand to help you up and get out of the struggle you are in. It has been a great response. A lot of people are stopping by and gathering information about resources available to them.”