The First Congregational Church of Darien

United Church of Christ

A community of faith since 1737

Special 11th Hour: Problem of Opioids in our community

Our church together with Silver Hill Hospital, in New Canaan, have planned a panel discussion to address this dire problem, Sunday October 1st at 11 a.m.  Although our focus will be on teens, all of us are affected by this crisis. We are hoping that many from the Darien community will come.  Invite your friends in the community to join you.

Two professional panelists, who work in the greater Darien area, will talk about addiction from the scientific, prevention and treatment perspectives, There will also be two people in recovery telling their stories. Time is planned for your concerns and questions.

Our church and our community needs to be well-informed, support each other and learn how to deal with this epidemic.  Gary Morello, who is on the panel, commented, poignantly : “Every human being craves intimacy, and if not found in healthy places, people will do anything to find it.”

Statistics we all should know: In 2012, 259 million opioids were prescribed by doctors – enough for every American adult to have a bottle. (NYT 5/4/17).  A recent White House panel assessed drug abuse as a “public health emergency”. This designation usually is assigned to national disasters. (Harvey, Irma)  As we all have heard, prescription drugs are a big part of the problem. The following statistics, taken from a recent study by Johns Hopkins University Medical School are amazing! They state that from 42% to 67% of narcotic drugs prescribed for some operations, are not finished, and of those, 41% to 67% sit in unlocked medicine cabinets, without plans for disposal. They should be taken to the Darien police station.

The panelists:

Dr. Eric D. Collins is Physician-in-Chief at Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan which specializes in addiction treatment. He is a graduate of Columbia Medical School and did his residency at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital Psychiatric Institution. He will present specific facts and up-to-date understandings from the scientific standpoint.

Allison Fulton has been the Executive Director of the Housatonic Valley Coalition Against Drug Abuse, since 2002, an organization that gives training, technical assistance and resources to many local prevention centers in towns of western Connecticut.  She is a strong supporter of local initiatives.  A certified prevention specialist, she is a popular keynote speaker and facilitator for “Parenting with Positive Discipline” and other programs.  She is a strong supporter of the power of local initiatives that are data-driven and collaborative.

Jen H. is in her late 20’s, working as a receptionist as she studies for her degree at Norwalk Community College.

Allan Griffin is a young man who is working for Aware Recovery Care,  an addiction center in New Haven.

Gary Morello is our Associate Minister.  He is deeply involved in community youth programs.

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