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Independence Blue Cross sponsors convention to address opioid addiction in Bucks County

heather major and Robewrt Whitley- Convention organizer

Independence Blue Cross Foundation program manager Heather Major with Together We Can Convention organizer Robert Whitley.

On National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, free grassroots public event unites hundreds

Since 2015, there has been a 50 percent increase in drug-related deaths in Bucks County, Pennsylvania — one of the highest increases across the state. To raise awareness and connect people in need to local recovery resources, Independence Blue Cross (Independence) sponsored the Together We Can Convention, a grassroots event held in Newtown, Pennsylvania, on April 28, National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. The convention united hundreds of individuals — including legislators, law enforcement, recovery specialists, and the public — to address the opioid addiction epidemic.

In addition to inspirational speakers and educational workshops, including a Narcan (naloxone) training session, the free event provided a secure site for people to dispose of unused or unwanted prescription medications. In addition, Independence hosted a panel discussion that addressed one of the most serious barriers to combating the opioid epidemic: the stigma of addiction. The panel highlighted personal stories of the effect of opioid abuse and efforts to increase awareness and understanding.