Cedarville University tackles opioid epidemic in latest workshop

An audience listens to Barry Wideman speak about addiction at the "Standing at the Epicenter of the Opioid Epidemic" workshop September 15th, 2017.

CEDARVILLE, Ohio (WDTN) – Friday, Cedarville University was ‘standing at the epicenter of the opioid epidemic.’ The school hosted a continuing education workshop under that title.

Pharmacists, social workers, counselors, student and pastors attended the six hour course to learn about the ethical treatment of drug addiction.

The presenter, VA social worker and Cedarville adjunct professor Barry Wideman presented explained U.S. drug policy, the addiction process and dilemmas in treating addiction.

“We have really been hit hard by this particular epidemic and so we’ve been having to do a lot of catch-up,” Wideman said of current efforts in the Miami Valley. “I think the primary thing is prevention and having good treatment available.”

Wideman’s family knows the devastating effects of opioids firsthand. His niece is in recovery from opioid addiction.

“(It’s caused) lots of sleepless nights, as well as never really knowing if she’s going to come home or if this might be the last time,” Wideman said.

Cedarville social work student Sidney Spottswood took a mental health course with Wideman and attended the workshop to learn more about the epidemic she’s seen devastating the Miami Valley.

“I really want to learn where we can make that first important change and them step in and start going frontlines from there to really get to the heart of the problem,” Spottswood said.

The Cedarville native hopes to work in the area after graduation so she can help make a difference in her home community.

She said, “Knowing that we’re going to be part of this change that coming in and really trying to help our community I think is very exciting.”


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