ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) - Millions of Americans are facing addiction, including right here in the Twin Tiers.
Medical professionals are making sure they're prepared and can give those who are struggling the treatment they need to overcome this deadly battle.
"The primary goal is to educate primary care doctors, that they're going to see this. In fact, they're going to see it everyday and they have to be comfortable treating it and recognizing the common symptoms, the affect it has on families and also, telling them about some of the newer treatments that are out there," says Richard Terry, Director of Medical Education at Arnot Health.
On Thursday, over a hundred, health care professionals from across the region attended the Opioid Teaching Day event hosted by Arnot Health. The 5 hour event covered the topic of addiction, and featured a nationally renowned speaker who focused on the biology and psychology of addiction.
"So this is the idea, certainly medicine is the beginning of this, but its not enough. Currently, we have 72,000 people who died in 2017. A majority of those, were overdose deaths and were from opioid. So my number one task is to help bring that number down and that's why I'm here," said Tony Rajiv Juneja, Doctor at Manage Addiction Lifeline.
The annual event is in its third year, with each year focusing on a new topic. Arnot Health says they decided this year on "treating addiction as a chronic disease" to help shed light on long term treatment.