*****FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE*****
DATE: Thursday, August 31, 2017
340 Stateline Rd.
Southaven, MS 38671
Director of Public Relations
340 Stateline Rd.
Southaven, MS 38671
Turning Point to Host International Overdose Awareness Day Event Thursday
We invite the public to join us as we bring awareness, find solutions and honor those who have lost their lives to overdose. The public is invited to bring signs, candles and pictures of loved ones they have lost. We ask that attendees use discretion when posting pics of the event to social media, and be aware of any client captured who does not wish to be shown.
Interviews with speakers and performers are available upon request by contacting me directly at [email protected] or 901.949.7926.
Media is asked to check in with Karen Morgan (901.626.9271) or Stacy Dodd (901.484.8429) upon arrival. To protect the confidentiality of our clients, they will instruct you as to which areas of the event can be shown publicly and which cannot. A run of show, talking points for media are provided in separate documents.
Southeast Regional Market Director, Vertava Health
Karen Morgan is a native of Louisville, KY and has lived in the Memphis/Desoto County, MS area since 1982. In 1992 Karen entered the field of Addiction Counseling and earned her Tennessee License in 1997. She has worked for various local agencies and formed a private practice partnership with her mentor, Karen Dennis in 2007. Karen has served on a variety of community boards and currently serves on the executive board for the Memphis Area Prevention Coalition. She also serves on the Tennessee Addictions Counseling Licensure Board and the West Tennessee Chapter of the National Association of Addiction Counselors. She recently joined Tennessee Association of Alcohol, Drug & other Addiction Services (TAADAS). Currently Karen is the Market Director for the Southeast Region for Vertava Health, which is corporately based in Nashville, TN. Karen’s primary focus is on educating the public about addiction and recovery to decrease stigma and to ensure treatment availability.
Senator David Parker (R-DeSoto County)
Mississippi State Senator
Senator Parker is a member of the American Board of Optometry, Diplomats, Mississippi Optometric Association and American Optometric Association. Senator Parker was born in Memphis, TN on September 9, 1969. He is married to the former Ashleigh Beckett; they have four children: Allie, Jack, Luke and Jude. He is of the Methodist faith. Parker was very instrumental in pushing for the Good Samaritan Law and getting it passed in Mississippi, which grants immunity of arrest to someone reporting an overdose. He is now fighting for legislation to allow pharmacies throughout the state of Mississippi to sell Narcan without a prescription.
John Dowdy, Jr.
Director, Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics
Formerly the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division Chief, Governor Phil Bryant’s office appointed John Dowdy, Jr. Director of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics in 2016. Dowdy is a career prosecutor with 28 years experience at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and headed the U.S. attorney’s criminal division for years. He was court appointed as the interim U.S. attorney in January 2011 and later returned to his job as head of the criminal division. He began his career in 1988 as an intern under the late U.S. Attorney George Phillips before he graduated from Mississippi College School of Law. With decades of experience as a prosecutor, Dowdy is committed to ridding Mississippi communities of the drug trade.
Sheriff Bill Rasco
Sheriff, DeSoto County Sheriff’s Department
Sheriff Bill Rasco is the highest ranking law enforcer in DeSoto County. He has lived in DeSoto County his entire life, and was raised in a family whose values and service for others have been respected for the past 3 generations. His father, the late Harry Rasco, and his mother, Jean Rasco, taught him early in life the importance of hard work, doing what is right and serving others. He graduated from Horn Lake High School, worked as a farmer and ran the family business. He deeply cares about the people who are making their living and raising their children in DeSoto County. He is into his 2nd term of serving as Sheriff and loves his job. He and his wife Pam live in Hernando and are members of Longview Point Baptist Church. They have 4 children, 4 granddaughters and one grandson.
Sgt. Mike Cowan
Sergeant, Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics
Created in 1971, the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics enforces the state’s Uniform Controlled Substances Law. As the state’s primary drug enforcement agency, the MBN accomplishes its mission by confiscating drugs and other contraband, and by arresting suspected drug violators for prosecution under applicable state and federal law. It’s goals are to:
- Identify, target and dismantle drug trafficking organizations responsible for illicit drug traffic and abuse in Mississippi.
- Enforce the Mississippi uniform controlled substance laws efficiently and effectively.
- Provide oversight of intrastate drug task forces.
- Target major drug trafficking organizations, violent career offenders, clandestine drug manufacturers, and violators of prescription drug laws.
- Protect state borders by targeting intra and interstate drug trafficking.
- Broaden agency intelligence through information sharing with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.
- Participate in federal law enforcement task forces in order to ensure adequate and efficient use of agency resources.
Founder, Addiction at Home
Bobby Cooper is a passionate advocate in the recovery community. He recently lost his daughter Jessica to overdose, the experience which prompted him to start the group Addiction at Home, which helps families cope with children battling substance abuse, and those who have lost their loved ones to the disease of addiction.
Nick Ehrhardt is a guitar instructor and Recovery Coach at Turning Point. He studied Computer Science at Bismarck State College, is a graduate of Bismarck High School in North Dakota. He lives in Horn Lake, Mississippi.
ABOUT ADDICTION CAMPUSES:
Vertava Health provides the most comprehensive addiction treatment program in the country by going beyond the standard 30-day plan and treating persons struggling with addiction mentally and spiritually to break the cycle of repeated visits to treatment. Utilizing our addiction campus environment we have the depth of caring staff, industry experience and clinical proficiency to effectively treat the disease of addiction for life. Vertava Health’ admissions center is trained to assess and place the client into one of the Vertava Health treatment centers across the country within a one-hour time frame. This speed in service delivery and thorough commitment to the client long term allows the person struggling with addiction to get quickly on the road to recovery and create a life that’s worth living.