Importance of Hope: steps to help the community break the cycle of addiction

BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. – Taking action on opiates will be the theme of a forum that will take place on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018 from 6 – 8 p.m. at the Bellows Falls Opera House. The intent of the forum is to energize the community around taking steps to help people recovering from opiate addiction through prevention, treatment, recovery, and enforcement. A panel discussion will feature speakers from Turning Point Recovery Center of Springfield, the Bellows Falls Police Department, and families of those experiencing addiction.

The second part of the forum will highlight opportunities for community members to get involved with local prevention and recovery efforts. The idea is that in order to address the opiate issue, we need all hands on deck right here, right now in big and small ways. Representatives from nearly a dozen local organizations helping youth, families, and people experiencing addiction will give a 2-3 minute “pitch” about what they are doing and how people can help. Community members can ask questions and sign up to get involved in their work at the end of the forum.

Michael Johnson of Turning Point and Michael Smith of FACT TV are co-hosting the event. Richard Carrier, a local father who recently lost a loved one to a substance use disorder, will share his family’s story. The discussion will focus on bringing together prevention, treatment, recovery, and law enforcement organizations to take concrete steps towards solutions to the opiate issue. A list of ways people can get involved will be available for any audience members interested in taking action following the forum.

To close the event, there will be a candlelight vigil to honor those we have lost, and those who we hope will find a path to recovery. Attendees will also have the option to participate in a free, 10-minute training on how to administer the opioid overdose reversal drug Narcan. The Bellows Falls Opera House is located at 7, the Square, Bellows Falls, Vt. This event is co-sponsored by the Bellows Falls Rotary Club, Turning Point Recovery Center of Springfield, Greater Falls Connections, and FACT TV. To learn more about the prevention work happening in the community, go to www.greaterfallsconnections.org. To learn more about the recovery work going on in the community, go to www.spfldturningpoint.squarespace.com.

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