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Local Leaders Working Towards Finding a Solution to The Opioid Addiction Crisis


Crisfield is banning together to put a stop to the opioid addiction epidemic taking over cities, both large and small, around the country. Citizens are beginning to share their own stories about opioid and heroin addiction, and leaders and citizens alike are talking about what needs to be done to help their fellow citizens.

Erik Emely, Crisfield City Councilman, made a statement after a recent meeting saying, “There were parents in here that have children out there now. I wanted to hear from them and I did. And we got great information. We know it’s all around the country, we know that. But it’s our home town and that was the main key tonight. Let’s push our town. Maybe we can be the first town to cure this.”

Emely has been actively leading the local fight against the disease. One of the main things discussed at recent meetings was the need to better support those affected by the disease.

Kurt Hohman was one of the attendees of a recent meeting. Hohman has been fighting addiction for years and began using drugs when he was just 12 years old.

“I used because I was hurting, when I started using I felt broken, after I felt broken I felt discarded by the world,” Hohman said.

Crisfield churches are planning to open offices for people who need help. Emely hopes to take the issue to the state level in hopes of getting a rehab center near Crisfield.

The citizens of Crisfield aren’t the only ones banning together in the fight against the opioid epidemic. Health care experts across the country are scrambling for ways to relieve pain in a way that doesn’t so easily lead to addiction.

The biotech firm Bonti has scientists working to see if Botox-technology could be one potential answer.

While Botox is the most popular aesthetic procedure among women over 35, there are many other beneficial uses for the treatment.

Pain is often caused by spasms when muscles are stretched, pulled, or ripped. While the answer is often to prescribe pain medications, these are a temporary solution. Once the medication wears off, the patient feels the need to take more pain medication, which increases the chance of dependency.

Bonti’s method would consist of a physician injecting a pain-relieving neurotoxin, a botulinum toxin serotype E, in the affected area. A single dose could provide relief for up to four weeks.

Botulinum toxins are the same neurotoxic proteins that are used in Botox procedures. In Botox procedures, the injected toxin relaxes the muscles and has a smoothing effect on skin.

You’re really giving the muscle the chance to heal and to repair itself,” says Susan Abushakra, Bonti’s chief medical officer. The injected neurotoxin fuses itself to the muscle cells, stopping spasms by cutting off signals to pain receptors around the muscles.

While Bonti’s drug is still in the testing phase, it’s expected that in about four years Botox will no longer just be the most popular aesthetic procedure for women over the age of 35. The company has met with the US Food and Drug Administration to discuss accelerating the approval, given the opioid addiction crisis.

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