A townhall event to discuss the impact of fentanyl and its presence and impact in the community will be hosted by the Anthropology Museum at Cal State San Bernardino beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 22.

Moderated by state Assemblymember James Ramos, D-Highland, a CSUSB alumnus whose district includes the university, the program will take place in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences building, room SB-128.

It is being presented in connection with the INTO LIGHT California exhibition at the CSUSB Anthropology Museum, which visitors are encouraged to visit before or after the townhall. The Anthropology Museum is located on the third floor of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences building, room SB-306.

Both the townhall, which is part of CSUSB’s Homecoming Week of events, and the exhibit are free and open to the public.

Ramos has introduced two bills in the battle against the opioid crisis, AB 1627, on opioid overdose prevention, and AB 1628, social media, electronic content management regarding controlled substances.

“Fentanyl-related deaths are skyrocketing across the state and nation, and as I wrote in an op-ed last year, we can only succeed in confronting this surge of fatalities with an ongoing assault on many fronts,” Ramos said when he introduced the legislation. “We must deal with both law enforcement and the underlying mental health issues that may lead to substance abuse.” 

Also part of the effort to address the opioid crisis and substance use disorder (SUD) is the INTO LIGHT California exhibit, which opened in September and will be on display through June. The aim of the INTO LIGHT Project and its exhibits is to destigmatize the topic of addiction by bringing to light the portraits and stories, through the eyes of their loved ones, of 41 individuals who lost their lives to a drug overdose or drug poisoning.

Broadening the discussion of SUD, addiction and overdose – and removing its stigma – helps provide some relief for families who have lost loved ones to the overdose epidemic, as well as encouraging those battling SUD to seek help.

To learn more about the exhibit, contact the California INTO LIGHT Project directors Arianna Huhn (ahuhn@csusb.edu) and Lorraine Hedtke (lhedke@csusb.edu). For more information, visit the INTO LIGHT Project website or email founder Theresa Clower at tclower@intolightproject.org.