The Needles and Pills program last winter was a success, bringing together community members and groups to organize around the vitally important topic of substance abuse. Stories were told. Awareness was raised. And grant funding was secured to establish a drug treatment court in Goodhue County.

But Needles and Pills was just the beginning. And the court system is only one part of the solution to substance abuse and the deadly opioid epidemic.

The community conversation continues Wednesday, May 29, in the Red Wing Public Library with a presentation by Dr. Mark Thomas, a professor in the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Minnesota Medical School. He will share new research into treating drug addiction with a technique called neurostimulation - disrupting the craving for addictive drugs in the brain without prescribing additional drugs.

New treatments take time and diligence, so don't expect to sign up addicted loved ones for neurostimulation any time soon. But what Dr. Thomas said he offers instead is hope, an optimistic look into the future when we put our minds to solving a problem.

We hope to see you there. The conversation gets underway 6-7:30 p.m.