The Opioid Epidemic: What it means for our community

The Vernon R.O.C.K.S. coalition, in partnership with the North Central District Health Department and the Town of Vernon, collaborated to host the coalition’s first largely successful community event, an opioid forum and resource fair on Wednesday December 6, 2017 from 5:30pm to 9:00pm at Rockville High School in Vernon, CT. The forum goals were to raise community awareness and provide education about the opioid crisis locally and nationally, highlight efforts around substance abuse and prescription pill misuse and prevention of substance abuse, and increase knowledge of the resources available in Vernon and the surrounding area.

The event began with a large resource fair tailored to provide attendees with local treatment and prevention resources. Twenty five agencies and organizations participated in this portion of the event. The resource fair also included the CT Association of Prevention Professional’s demonstration of “Hidden in Plain Sight”, a program that sets up a mock teen bedroom where parents have the opportunity browse through and see the types of products teens are using to hide substances. In addition, about fifteen community members participated in a NARCAN training facilitated by Perception Programs, Inc.

The forum portion of the event was moderated by Dan Corcoran of NBC News and featured a guest speaker, John Lally of Today I Matter. Following the guest speaker, was a discussion with a panel of experts including the Judicial District of Tolland State’s attorney, Matt Gedansky; Chief Kenny from the Vernon Police Department; Vernon ROCKS member Steven Jackson, addiction counselor and Subooxone program coordinator Hockanum Valley Community Council; Karen Colt, Director of Rivereast Day Treatment Center; Dr. Robert Carroll, Medical Director of ECHN’s Department of Emergency Medicine; and David Messenger, a person in recovery.

For more details about our panelists, view the event’s program here: Opioid Forum Program

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