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Friday, July 24 2015

News from the Opioid Task Force

Adapted from an Opioid Task Force of Franklin County & N. Quabbin press release:

In addition to helping organize tomorrow's candlelight vigil in Energy Park, the Opioid Task Force of Franklin County & the North Quabbin Region will hold a community conversation about the opioid epidemic on August 4th and a Tools for Families event on August 18th.  The group is also participating in the "Talk. They Hear You." campaign.

Candlelight Vigil * Saturday, July 25th, 5PM, Energy Park
Please join us for a candlelight vigil to remember family and friends who have lost their lives to addiction.  This event is being planned in collaboration with community members and our partners at The RECOVER Project.  A concert hosted by The RECOVER Project will precede the vigil, at 3PM.  For more information on the concert,  click here.  Greenfield's Energy Park is located at 50 Miles Street.

Opioid Epidemic Community Conversation * Tuesday, August 4th, 5:30PM, Greenfield Gardens
Come and speak with representatives of the Opioid Task Force, express your views about the impact of the opioid epidemic in your community, and share your thoughts on what needs to be done to support a safe and healthy community for everyone. This event is open to the public, free pizza and refreshments will be provided. For more information, or to send comments confidentially, email  Greenfield Gardens is located at 58 Pray Drive and this event will take place in the community room.

Tools For Families * Tuesday, August 18th, 5PM, Greenfield Community College (GCC)
Learn about tools for families who have a loved one struggling with addiction.  Director of Allies in Recovery Dominique Simon Levine will keynote this event; highlighting and explaining the Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT) tool, including steps for how families can use this free, evidence-based, online resource.  In addition, Marcy Julian will share about the Learn to Cope support group, which offers strength and hope for families dealing with addiction, and Liz Whynott from Tapestry Health will provide overdose prevention education and free Narcan distribution.

This free event is open to the public and organizations working with families, as well as families dealing with addiction, are encouraged to attend.  The program will be held in the GCC Dining Commons located at 1 College Drive.  Tools for Families is a collaborative effort of the Opioid Task Force, the Communities that Care Coalition, North Quabbin Community Coalition, Greenfield Safe Streets Safe Schools Coalition, and the Gill Montague Community School Partnership.

"Talk. They Hear You." Prevention Tool for Parents
The Opioid Task Force encourages parents and caregivers who are looking for tips and information, on starting a conversation about substance use with children, to check out the "Talk. They Hear You." campaign from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).  It is designed to empower adults with tools (including a great interactive app for phones and tablets) to prevent underage drinking among 9-15 year olds, however, the skills and tools in the program are important for preventing alcohol, tobacco, and drug use.  Local data shows that more than 80% of Franklin County and North Quabbin youth who are regularly misusing prescription drugs are also regularly drinking alcohol (Partnership for Youth, Regional School Health Task Force Survey 2014).  Check out the campaign and pass it along!