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Wheeler Tackles Local Opioid Overdoses

Wheeler Clinic

Wheeler’s Connecticut Clearinghouse at 334 Farmington Avenue, Plainville, will host free opioid and drug prevention community trainings in observance of International Overdose Awareness Day on Thursday, August 31, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The event, presented by Wheeler in collaboration with the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS), will provide members of the community with practical information, tools and resources for addressing the opioid crisis.

Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services Commissioner Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, Ph.D., will offer remarks at  2 p.m., and throughout the day attendees will have the opportunity to make their own Remembrance Quilt square in honor of a loved one lost to addiction.

“This observance is one of several happening nationally.  It’s an opportunity for attendees to gain useful information and resources about drug use and opioid overdose prevention, as well as honor the lives of loved ones by creating squares for the state’s Remembrance Quilt,” said Judith Stonger, MA, CPS, CARC, Wheeler’s vice president of Prevention, Wellness and Recovery. “In 2016, Connecticut overdose deaths rose to 917, with 94 percent involving opioids. We hope that individuals who attend this event will be better equipped to recognize and prevent drug use and save lives in the event of an overdose.”

The event will feature the following trainings:

10:00 am & 6:00 pm  Naloxone 101 Training

Participants will learn the following:

Information on opioid use, misuse, and addiction

Connecticut opioid use and overdose data

Various options of Naloxone/Narcan administration

Signs of overdose and how to effectively respond

2:00 pm  “Hidden in Plain Sight” Drug Prevention Training

Help parents, adult family members, and other adults who interact with youth to:

Understand the types of inexpensive, easily accessible products available to youth to hide drugs and paraphernalia “in plain sight”

Recognize warning signs of drug use, both obvious and hidden

Practice skills for having tough conversations with young people in their lives

Learn about resources available in their community

The statewide Remembrance Quilt initiative was launched by the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services earlier this year to honor loved ones who have died from substance use disorders or addiction.

The first quilt is now complete and has been displayed at a number of venues including the Legislative Office Building.

On August 31, participants will have the opportunity to create a square in honor of their loved one, which will be added to a Remembrance Quilt. Supplies will be provided; however, participants may bring their own supplies as well, including a photo of their loved one, preferably on a flash drive (but not required).

Wheeler staff will be on hand to guide all activities and help bring ideas to fruition. Participants also may come to the event with a pre-made square. Instructions for creating squares can be found here, or accessed through the DMHAS website here: www.ct.gov/dmhas/notforgotten.

In 2001 International Overdose Day originated in Australia to raise awareness that the tragedy of overdose death is preventable. Over the years, the movement stretched across the world with community, government and non-government organizations working hard to raise awareness and commemorate those who have been lost to drug overdose. www.overdoseday.com

All are welcome to attend the free event on August 31, but should register at http//www.ctclearinghouse.org/registration/ or call 800.232.4424.

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