Capital Area Human Services is sponsoring a free online forum, “Hope & Healing in Response to the Opioid Crisis,” to share practical information and resources created for faith-based leaders to help them respond to the opioid epidemic and meet the needs of their congregations.

The virtual forum is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 9.

“This forum is an opportunity to work with communities of faith to help create cultures of acceptance and support that can reduce the stigma of addiction and connect people to the treatment they need to recover,” said Jan Laughinghouse, CAHS executive director, in a news release.

The Zoom event is free and open to faith-based groups and congregations, individuals providing supportive outreach in the community and anyone with an interest in this topic.

The topics include an overview of the opioid epidemic data trends by Dr. William "Beau" Clark, coroner of East Baton Rouge Parish, along with a panel of experts, who will also discuss opioids and their effects on the brain, addiction and stigma, medication safety practices, and how to support families impacted by the opioid epidemic.

A new faith-based tool kit of resources will be released at the event. Pre-register for the session at FaithBasedOpioidPrevention.eventbrite.com. For more information, contact Dawn Collins at (225) 312-3238 or Dawn.Collins3@la.gov.

Other organizations partnering with CAHS to present the program are the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Office, Drug Enforcement Agency New Orleans, Louisiana Department of Health-Office of Public Health, Cataldie Clinic, Tonja Myles and Daria Vinning. Funding in support of the forum is provided by the Louisiana State Opioid Response Grant.