2018 Deliberative Dialogue Topic: What should we do about the Opioid epidemic?

CAN, in partnership with iACT, will host a series of Deliberative Dialogues in 2018 focused on the issue of how to address the Opioid epidemic. Drub abuse, a problem the Unites States has faced for decades, has taken a sharp and lethal turn with the rise of Opioids – both legal pain killers such as oxycodone and fentanyl and illegal ones like heroin. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 64,000 Americans were killed by drug overdoses in 2016, and at least 2/3 of those deaths were caused by opioids. That is worse than the peak of the HIV epidemic in 1995 and more than the number of US combat deaths in the entire Vietnam War. The problem exists in almost every community throughout the United States. Texas is one of 26 states that saw a statistically significant increase in the overdose death rate from 2015 to 2016. In 2016 there were 10.1 overdose deaths in Texas per 100,000 population. In 2015 & 2016, there were 299 deaths in the City of Austin that were attributed to drug overdose and 191 of these deaths were Opioid related.

Dialogue participants will explore options for addressing the Opioid epidemic, discuss possible solutions, and weigh the trade-offs involved for each. The facilitated conversations will help people better understand the issue from three very different perspectives and learn what other community members think and feel about the issue.The output from these conversations will help inform local policy makers and will also be incorporated into the results from the national conversations.

Volunteers Needed to Help Moderate Deliberative Dialogues

CAN will be training volunteers to help facilitate the Deliberative Dialogues on this topic. The Moderator Training will be FREE. Dates of training are to be determined. Email Jelina Tunstill, CAN’s Program Coordinator at if you’d like to be added to the invitation list for this training opportunity.

Small group moderators will be trained on how to facilitate this community dialogue. Moderators are asked to facilitate an 8-10 person table for at least one community dialogue, helping participants to talk respectfully and productively, and capturing notes from the conversation. Moderators will NOT join the conversation or offer opinions. They DO NOT have to be experts on the issue. We need people who are…

  • excited about supporting an important community conversation
  • committed to complete the training and moderating at least one community dialogue
  • bilingual in Spanish and English (welcome but not required)

Register to Participate in a Community Dialogue on Addressing the Opioid Epidemic

CAN and iACT will host dialogues on this topic this fall. Check back for locations, dates, and times.

Learn more about the Community Dialogues on Addressing the Opioid Epidemic


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