Portsmouth Rotary hosts substance abuse forum

PORTSMOUTH — The Portsmouth Rotary Club has joined with the six other New Hampshire Seacoast Rotary clubs to further the awareness and education of the opioid epidemic and substance use disorders in their communities.

Each club will provide a comprehensive “Recovery with Hope & Dignity” educational forum designed to highlight system of care for people suffering with substance use disorders, discuss treatment and recovery options and educate attendees how they may one day save a life. If you’re thinking you may wish to urge someone to consider treatment and recovery options, perhaps have a look into Countrywide Testing, so you can have the option to perform drug tests to ensure the person suffering from addiction remains clean while giving you peace of mind, that they truly are drug-free.

Portsmouth Rotary is hosting the forum April 11 at the Portsmouth High School auditorium. The event is from 6 to 8 p.m. and is free and open to the public. All interested in learning about prevention, treatment, recovery and harm-reduction are welcome to attend.

“The goal that Rotary has is to help engage the community and bring public awareness of the substance abuse disorder that has flooded our state,” said Portsmouth Rotary President Cleo Villaflores. “We want to bring as much education to the public as possible and reinforce this is a disease and we Rotarians are here to help.”

Speakers will include former Portsmouth Police Chief David Mara, the governor’s adviser on Addiction and Behavioral Health; Kennebunk, Maine, Police Chief Robert MacKenzie; John Burns, director of SOS Recovery Community Centers, and Jim and Jeannie Moser, founders of Zero Left. They will be joined by Leah Rothschild, who is in recovery and will share her story and personal journey.

The forums will bring awareness to the public of the state’s new “hub and spoke” approach to helping those with addiction issues receive treatment and reducing the stigma of substance abuse.

At the first Rotary forum in March, Gov. Chris Sununu said the state’s new system entails nine “hubs” around the state primarily based out of a network of regional hospitals where a professional recovery specialist will evaluate an individual seeking help and build a personalized program for the person. Hub and spoke was started with a $45 million matching grant from the federal government and was implemented Jan. 1, he said.

?(We) have to have full, wraparound services: treatment, recovery,” Sununu said. “You have to have the workplace involved; you have to get transitional housing in there, long-term services in there, preventative care for families. All of these pieces have to be encompassed in the community.”

For more information, email Villaflores at cleo.villaflores@gmail.com.


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