As the national opioid crisis continues to grab headlines, one local woman continues to advocate for opioid addiction awareness and educate the public about the dangers of opioid addiction.

As the national opioid crisis continues to grab headlines, one local woman continues to advocate for opioid addiction awareness and educate the public about the dangers of opioid addiction. Shelly Elkington, of Montevideo, lost her daughter Casey to opioids three years ago.

Since that time, she has become actively involved in bringing the crisis to the public’s attention.

On October 6 and 7, Elkington was in Washington, D.C. to attend and speak at the Fed Up Rally sponsored by the National Opioid Aware­ness Advocacy group. The rally was held on the mall in Washington.

For Elkington, the trip to Washington really hit home. She said: “The group organized this rally for anybody who wanted to come. There were many, many parents there whose kids, and when I say kids I mean young adults in their mid-20s, who died from opioid overdose. It was sad.”

The group had contacted Elkington and asked her to speak at the event. “I wasn’t initially going to go; it was a big trip, but I decided to do it. One of the organizers of the event was Judy Rummler, who I know from the Steve Rummler Network, and you just don’t say no to Judy! She is a very strong, powerful advocate who lost her son Steve to opioid addiction. She started a state-wide advocacy group, then began a national advocacy group,” said Elkington.

Elkington was one of many speakers at the event. She said: “I was very honored to speak there.

There were several nationally known speakers there as well. It was a humbling experience.”

The event took place over two days. Elkington said: “The first day, they walked at the Sackler Museum which is a part of the Smithsonian. The Sacklers are the owners of Purdue Pharmaceuticals. Purdue Pharmaceuticals kicked off the opioid epidemic back in the 1990s. They created fake studies and they created false marketing.”

According to Elkington, the corporation claimed that their studies showed that less than one percent of people would ever become addicted. “They conned doctors to give people these meds, touting them as miracle drugs. Meanwhile, they made billions and billions of dollars,” she said.

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