Community Drug Forum Hosted by Chautauqua County Department of Mental Hygiene

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Vincent-Horrigan_smThe Community Drug Forum focused on the growing epidemic of opiate use and abuse in Chautauqua County, hosted by Chautauqua County Executive Vincent Horrigan and Chautauqua County Community Mental Hygiene Director Patricia Brinkman.

“I encourage those who were unable to attend the previous drug forums to watch the videos made during this event,” said Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan.

“The video is both enlightening and inspiring about the drug abuse issues in Chautauqua County.” The link to the online videos is: http://ny-chautauquacounty.civicplus.com/320/Mental-Hygiene.

The videos of the Community Drug Forum feature Dr. David Withers, who calls addiction, “a hole in the soul through which blows the cold wind of life,” and provides an overview of the disease aspect of addiction. William Matthews of the Harm Reduction Coalition of New York provided an in depth training on overdose death prevention and Avi Israel offers a dramatic and moving personal story of tragedy resulting from his son’s addiction to opiate pain killers.

Planning for the Community Drug Forum began shortly after Horrigan was elected to fulfill a campaign promise welcomed by many voters. It was led by Brinkman and included key stakeholders and leaders from the Chautauqua Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Council (CASAC), WCA Hospital, Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office, Chautauqua County Department of Mental Hygiene, the Mental Health Association, Dunkirk Police Department, Jamestown Police Department, Chautauqua County Department of Emergency Services, and Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services.

The Forum helped guide citizens and stakeholders to create solutions for Chautauqua County’s drug abuse epidemic, including lifesaving treatments and clinical services, according to Brinkman. “This is a multifaceted problem facing each of us either within our families, or through our profession that will require strategies to impact law enforcement, treatment, crisis services, prevention and funding.”

“We are excited to provide videos of the presentations on the Chautauqua County of Mental Hygiene website to those in the community who could not attend the presentations in person,” Brinkman said.

For more information concerning the online video recordings of the Community Forum, contact the Chautauqua County Department of Mental Hygiene by calling (716) 753-4104, or the County Executive’s Office by calling (716) 753-4211.