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MEQUON - Heroin is a growing issue throughout the state and in response, Concordia University Wisconsin is holding a special symposium from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 8.

The event, which will be held at the Mequon campus, 12800 N. Lake Shore Drive, is called "Face to Face with Heroin."

Students in Concordia's psychology program approached Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology Tracy Tuffey with a "desire to respond to the dire concern in our community," a news release said.

“I had students say to me, ‘Professor Tuffey, too many people are dying of heroin overdoses, even young kids. We have to do something,’” Tuffey said. “This effort has truly been a collaborative effort, and one that we think will powerfully impact the community.”

A group including CUW pharmacy professor Chris Cunningham and Ben Rader of the Wisconsin Psychological Association also worked to organize the event.

A few keynote speakers listed in the release include Cunningham presenting "Heroin 101: The biology of addiction and possible solutions," Jessica Geschke, who has experienced the effects of the heroin epidemic first hand, and John Kumm, an intel analyst for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

CUW Director of University Communications Kali Thiel called Kumm a "pretty high-profile individual."

A devotion will conclude the event with students creating a special visual.

"People will be given a piece of ceramic to place on a cross as they come in," Thiel said. "The cross will become a mosaic that enforces the theme of the event, 'mosaics are made from broken pieces, but they’re still beautiful works of art and so are you.'”

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