Combatting the Opioid Epidemic – One Year Later at the next NIU STEM Café

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, an estimated 130 people have died every day from opioid-related drug overdoses in the U.S. in recent years. However, experts in DeKalb County are collaborating to reduce opioid addiction and opioid-related deaths.

At the next NIU STEM Café, join experts from medical, public health and criminal justice perspectives for a lively discussion of what is being done in DeKalb and the surrounding areas to combat the epidemic. The STEM Café will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 18, at Eduardo’s Restaurant, 206 E. Lincoln Highway, in DeKalb. It is free and open to the public, with food and drinks available for purchase from Eduardo’s.

Interested audience members will also have a chance to be trained in the use of Narcan to prevent death related to overdose. Narcan will be provided to anyone who attends the training.

The speakers will include:

  • Cindy Graves, DeKalb County Health Department.
  • Steve Lekkas, DeKalb Police Department.
  • Joe Przybyla, NIU Police Commander and Paramedic.
  • Laura Meyer-Junco, UIC College of Pharmacy.
  • Rick Amato, DeKalb County State’s Attorney.

“This is a follow-up presentation to our popular December 2017 STEM Café about combatting the opioid epidemic,” says Judith Dymond, STEM Café coordinator. “Audience members who attended that event will get to hear an update on what progress has been made in the past year, and new audience members will learn the latest strategies and current status of the crisis.”

Dymond says she is particularly excited that experts will be offering training to the public on how to use Narcan, a nasal spray used to treat narcotic overdoses in emergency situations.

“When the issue of opioid overdose comes up, people want to know what they can do to help,” Dymond says. “I’m pleased that the audience will be able to take away both the knowledge and the tools they need to make a positive difference.”

Northern Illinois University STEM Cafés are sponsored by NIU STEAM and are designed to increase public awareness of the critical role that STEM fields play in our everyday lives. For more information, contact Judith Dymond at 815-753-4751 or email jdymond@niu.edu.

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