I was a Suffield parent like you once. I have three kids and went to all of the family events in town from book fairs and field days to soccer games, and I loved being part of the Suffield community.
Then a few months ago I was asked to attend a Suffield Local Prevention Council (SLPC) meeting as a representative for school volunteers in town. At first I thought, well, my kids are still young but I figured I would at least go to a meeting and check it out. So at the end of the summer I attended my first SLPC meeting.
There were many people in attendance from the town including police officers, school administrators, recovering addicts, other parents and people who have had a family member struggle with addiction.
One of the first items on the agenda was to talk about the current drug epidemic and how it is affecting our town. Attendees of the meeting proceeded to talk about the drugs that were being sold in our town.
My first thought was that it can’t be happening here in our little town of Suffield and then a recovering addict in town started talking about how narcotics are being pressed, produced and sold by dealers to high school students and that they contain the drug Fentanyl, a highly addictive drug, here in Suffield. Yes, I repeat, here in Suffield!
My jaw hit the floor and my eyes got three times their size as I listened to representatives from our town talk about what they are experiencing when it comes to drugs and alcohol abuse. I never thought of myself as naïve but I definitely was at that meeting.
So, as I originally stated at the beginning of this article that I was a Suffield parent like you once, that’s true, but I have changed. I am now a parent who understands that I can’t guarantee that my kids, neighbors and friends will be immune to this drug epidemic, but I can definitely be the parent, friend and mother who will be as informed as I possibly can so that I can break down the walls in Suffield, get rid of the stigma that addiction brings and be a piece of the solution.
Together we can be so much more when we work to reduce the damage of alcohol and drug abuse to our families, our friends and our community. If you are interested in participating with the Suffield Local Prevention Council, please contact Leslie Offenbach, Youth Services Director, at 860-668-3329 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can view the latest SLPC information with updates to the SLPC Facebook page as well as Suffield Forum Facebook page, so be sure to join them both. You can also view the video of the November 17 Public Forum that was held at the Suffield Middle School titled “Drug Abuse in Suffield – It’s Real, It’s Here” by using this YouTube link, https://youtu.be/_KhW1356SVE.