10/15/20: I always look forward to the quarterly SOAR meetings at the Onslow County Health Department. The group meets the third Thursday of every quarter and is facilitated by Ms. Sophia Hayes, one of the health educators at the Onslow County Health Department. SOAR is an acronym for Strategic Opioid Advanced Response Team. The clear goals of the group are prevention, treatment, and recovery in Onslow County.
Sophia is a dynamic group leader. She has a knack for getting every member of the group involved and giving them enough time to voice their opinions, concerns, and to promote their agencies. She had a clear handle on the flow of the meeting on Thursday (10/15/2020).
We meet to work together on lowering the rate of substance misuse in Onslow County. Some of the agencies represented at SOAR are detox and rehab facilities, the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office, paramedics, nurses, and other human services organizations. The keynote speaker of the meeting was Ms. Tracy Klein from True Justice International.
True Justice International is an organization that combats human trafficking and addiction. Their goals are to understand what human trafficking is and they give an understanding of the connection between the opioid crisis and human trafficking. Miss Klein was really engaged and upbeat about being with the group that day. She spoke with passion and added some sound advice and ideas to the group. Other group members seemed to be excited as well and were feeding off the positive vibes of Ms. Klein. The Sheriff of Onslow County, Mr. Hans Miller, added some great insight to what law enforcement is doing to lessen the drug problem in Onslow County.
One lady gave the testimony of her son who is a recovering addict; “My son has been clean from opioids and other drugs for about nine months now, and I am very proud of the changes he has made. I am here as a parent who knows what it is like to see your child addicted to opioids, so I want to encourage other parents and children to do the same.”
I really enjoyed this meeting, and the group worked well together. Observing the process of the group, I saw how the other members interacted positively with one another and were drawing strength from one another. Ms. Klein gave great feedback and Sophia, as facilitator, gave us much needed information and updates. I look forward to attending the next SOAR meeting at the Onslow County Health Department. The meetings are very informative, engaging, and time seems to pass by so fast while I am in the meeting.