A network of churches in Surry County is focusing on opioids; the dialogue begins Tuesday night at a community forum in Mt. Airy.

The event is open to everyone. It came about after a group of United Methodist churches surveyed their congregations last fall and found that drug addiction was the number one concern among the church members.

Danny Miller is senior pastor at Central United Methodist Church in Mt. Airy. He says the forum begins a year of focusing on the issue, and that the goal is to facilitate open discussions.

"The biggest problems that we have concerning the opioid crisis are silence, stigma, and the fact that people feel ashamed because of this," he says. "And we want to eliminate that so that we can openly talk about this problem."

The event includes information on the scope and history of the crisis from the Surry County Opioid Response Director, as well as what's being done to combat it in other communities. Local government and health leaders will be on hand to answer audience questions about the epidemic.

The Community Opioid Forum is Tuesday, February 11th, from 7:00 - 9:30 p.m. at The Earle Theatre. 

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