SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– During the pandemic, substance misuse continued to take a toll across the Ozarks.

Today, advocates and health leaders are inviting the public to talk about what we can do as a community.

The Drug Poisoning Summit will begin at 8 a.m. at Turning Point Church on National. It’ll go until 2:45 p.m.

David Stoecker with Better Life in Recovery helped to organize the event. He said one of the main goals is to bring awareness back into focus.

“I think with covid, we kind of forgot just how bad deaths of despair are right now with suicides and drug poisonings,” Stoecker said. “

Health officials from Mercy, CoxHealth and other agencies will be part of the conversation. Discussion topics will be about what substance misuse numbers are looking like in the Ozarks, how it’s affecting others and how we are responding to it as a community.