submitted by Deb Alter
On Thursday, June 5, at 7 pm, the HAYC3 Community Coalition will hold a second Town Hall Meeting at The HAYC3 Armory in Hoosick Falls regarding the recent rise in heroin, prescription drug and other substance abuse in our community and region. This meeting will feature doctors and other health care workers as well as social workers and will focus on prevention, treatment and resources and services available in our area. We encourage parents, youth, community members and leaders from Hoosick and the surrounding areas to attend.
[private]A Regional Issue
At the April 23 meeting several things became apparent. One was that the growing substance abuse problem is a regional issue, not just a Hoosick issue and that working with Bennington and other nearby communities will strengthen and benefit all of our efforts. Also apparent was that the people in attendance wanted more information about who and where to turn for help. The upcoming meeting is intended to address both of these questions and more.
“The Town Hall meeting is an effective way for community members to engage in the conversation by asking questions and voicing their concerns,” said Aelish Nealon, Executive Director of HAYC3. “This community forum will serve as a platform for medical professionals, treatment agencies, local law enforcement and the HAYC3 Community Coalition to highlight their efforts and for the public to ask questions.”
The Hoosick Community and the surrounding area is currently experiencing an extremely dangerous epidemic of heroin and prescription drug abuse by teens, and it has been statistically shown to be connected to alcohol abuse in this age group. This forum is intended to teach community members to recognize the signs of abuse and get the needed medical and social services support for friends and loved ones struggling with addiction.
The discussion is open to parents, students, community members and leaders from Hoosick and nearby towns and villages. HAYC3 feels that partnerships among communities, particularly Bennington, will make us all stronger. Medical, health care and social work specialists from Rensselaer County, Hoosick Falls and Bennington medical and mental health organizations, as well as other experts, will be on hand to answer questions and offer ideas for ensuring our communities’ members get the support and attention they need and deserve.
Panelists include, among others, Trey Dobson, MD, Chief Medical Officer SVHC, Dr. Nels Kloster, an addiction psychiatrist and specialist in addiction medicine, Terra Stone, LCSW, MICA Coordinator, and Eric Katz and Davia Plusch of the Hoosick Falls branch of Unified Services, Rensselaer County Mental Health Department and Harold McClellan, Assistant Chief of Police in Hoosick Falls.[/private]