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Rising Overdose Deaths Lead Dallas Addiction Treatment Providers, Nonprofits and Community Leaders to Form Anti-Fentanyl Coalition

DALLAS, Aug. 15, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Several addiction treatment providers, nonprofits, mental health practitioners and community influencers based in and around the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex have come together to form a community coalition called Meet for Change. The coalition’s mission is to address the effects of fentanyl, substance use and addiction on local communities.

Led by the organizations Greenhouse Treatment CenterThe Haven Texas and Winning the Fight, Meet for Change will hold its inaugural meeting this Thursday, August 18, 13101 Preston Road, Suite 601 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The registration link can be found here.

Preliminary CDC numbers show that more than 100,000 lives were lost due to overdose deaths in 2021 with the primary driver being the synthetic opioid fentanyl. In fact, more than 88% of all opioid overdose deaths were due to fentanyl and more than 68% of all overdose deaths, and Texas has not been spared. Recently, more than 15,000 counterfeit pills containing fentanyl were seized in North Texas, and in South Texas alone, there was a 1,066% increase in the amount of fentanyl seized by the DEA last year, including 588 pounds of fentanyl.

To put the dangers of fentanyl in perspective, if two milligrams of fentanyl is a lethal amount, then the amount of fentanyl seized last year – 588 pounds – could result in 133,356,048 deaths. That’s nearly 40% of the entire country.

Because of these astonishing stats and the insidious nature in which fentanyl has permeated our neighborhoods, Meet for Change seeks to collaborate with local leaders, and, hopefully, the community-at-large, to come together and seek out solutions to this crisis with tangible results.

“How this problem is currently being addressed by decision makers is not effective as we continue to see record numbers of deaths year after year,” said Jason Brazell, chief operating officer of The Haven, a Dallas-based inpatient medical detox program and co-founder of Meet for Change. “We, as well as the other nonprofits and addiction treatment centers that comprise this coalition, are the ones seeing and treating patients from Texas and around the country firsthand. I can think of no better group of professionals to address this issue.”

Elected officials, medical professionals, law enforcement, mental health providers and governmental entities will be present for an open discussion to hear from those treating those suffering the most from this scourge and deliberate ways in which these organizations and leaders can work together to enact change.

“We have gotten to the point where encountering fentanyl or a substance laced with fentanyl is so commonplace, not coming across it is an anomaly,” said Philip Van Guilder, community affairs director at Greenhouse Treatment Center and co-founder of Meet for Change. “As a person in long-term recovery, I have dedicated my life to educating the public on the dangers of addiction, substances and overdoses, but this is a tragedy unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Far too many lives are being ruined or lost and something has to change.”

About Meet for Change
Meet for Change is a coalition led by Greenhouse Treatment Center, The Haven Texas and Winning the Fight created to collaboratively effect change and save lives in the midst of a fentanyl crisis. For more information, contact [email protected].