Breaking the Silence on Substance Abuse

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p21_n47_COLOR_SPLC_LogoAs everyone is aware from news reports and social media there is a growing problem with substance abuse, and heroin use in particular, throughout the United States, in Connecticut, and yes, in Suffield.

As one our many initiatives, the Suffield Local Prevention Council (SLPC) working with the Suffield Public Schools administration and staff, and with the support of the Board of Education and Board of Selectmen, conducted a confidential Youth Assessment Survey (YAS) for students in grades 7-12 on June 1.

The results of this survey will provide us with better information about our youth and their attitudes and behaviors regarding substance use and abuse. With this information, our community can plan strategies and programs that strive to increase protective factors and decrease risk factors.

Keep in mind that substance abuse is not just a youth issue but affects individuals of all ages. In the past two years we have had seven overdose deaths in Suffield and numerous other occasions when lives were saved by Suffield Volunteer Ambulance Association or Suffield Police personnel administering Narcan.

On October 16 at 6:30 p.m in the Suffield High School auditorium the SLPC will sponsor a community forum where the results of the survey will be presented by Christine Miskell of the Southeastern Regional Action Council (SERAC) who analyzed the data and prepared the YAS report.

Other speakers will include representatives of the Suffield Police Department, Suffield Volunteer Ambulance Association, Suffield Schools, Suffield Youth Services and the SLPC, as well as State Representative Tami Zawistowski. We are encouraging parents to bring their high school and middle school students to this presentation.

A Question and Answer session with the speakers will follow to address issues and concerns with forum attendees.

There will be information tables and a medication collection station outside the auditorium entrance. If you are interested in participating with the SLPC, there will be a sign-up sheet available.

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