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  • Writer's pictureLauren Drago

Local Events: Old Saybrook Youth & Family Services Local Prevention Council Opioid Awareness Eve

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If you're located here in Old Saybrook, I wanted to let you know about an important initiative with an upcoming meeting on November 14th at 3:30pm at Youth & Family Services. This task force, the Local Prevention Council, plans to focus on improving outcomes and awareness for youth regarding substance use. Particularly, the opioid epidemic is a scary one. As opiate-related deaths continue to rise, this provides an opportunity to make the valuable connections within our community that can create positive movement with this issue.

As a clinician who previously worked intensively with pregnant and parenting women seeking recovery from heroin and other opiate use, I have experienced and seen firsthand the powerful factors that contribute to drug abuse. The Local Prevention Council's efforts have the ability to lay the groundwork for more positive and productive outcomes for the youth of Old Saybrook, and on the Connecticut Shoreline as a whole.

The details of this initiative and the meeting are provided below, courtesy of the Old Saybrook Youth & Family Services email updates:


Old Saybrook Local Prevention Council invites you to join in efforts to improve community youth's ability to make critical decisions.

The LPC will meet November 14th at 3:30 pm at Youth and Family Services. The Council's efforts will focus on multiple strategies the community can take to educate and protect youth and meet the needs of all who are impacted by substance use.

Almost everyone knows someone who has been impacted by loss related to a loved one's substance use/abuse. The Local Prevention Council, a group anyone is welcome to join, will be focusing on prevention education, community culture, and action steps to improve our community youth's ability to make critical decisions when it comes to substance use. Please stay tuned for an invitation to a Community Conversation in early 2018!

If you would like to participate with the Local Prevention Council, the next meeting is scheduled Nov. 14, 3:30 p.m., at Youth and Family Services, 322 Main Street, Old Saybrook.

While there is increased focus on Opioid related deaths in recent years due to the huge increase in the numbers of people impacted and accessibility of opioids, we are also consistently concerned with under-aged alcohol and marijuana usage. Age of first use is a prime indicator in the increased potential for developing a substance use disorder. To read more about the potential links between early alcohol, tobacco and marijuana use and later (other) substance abuse, click here:

Opioid-related overdose deaths continue to skyrocket in Connecticut with the total number at 917 for 2016. It's at least the fifth year in a row that has seen a large increase in opioid deaths in the state; 2015 had 729 deaths and 2012 saw 357, according to the Office of the State Medical Examiner. Once again, data shows that opioids are nondiscriminatory when it comes to its victims. The average age of a fatal overdose victim is 42 years old, and 178 victims were less than 30 years old.

Published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence, a study revealed a new connection between heroin and prescription opioid use in high school students. The report, titled "Nonmedical Opioid Use and Heroin Use in a Nationally Representative Sample of US High School Seniors," concluded that more than 75% of high school heroin users began experimenting further with opiates after first being introduced to prescription painkillers.

We would like to share the information about an event 12/6/17 sponsored by MCSAAC (Middlesex County Substance Abuse Action Council) and Project Courage, an Old Saybrook-based addictions treatment facility. Click here to download a flyer with details.

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Lauren L. Drago, MSEd, LMHC, LPC is the founder of Lauren Drago Therapy in Old Saybrook, CT and serving greater CT, NY & PA. She specializes in working with smart, insightful and capable women to overcome stress, anxiety, loss of identity, self-limiting beliefs, perfectionism, marriage strain, and the pressure of "trying to do it all." Lauren has a passion for helping others to achieve the happy, fulfilling, productive, and meaningful life they deserve by changing how they experience and understand their world. She believes that every woman can and should live out her personal definition of her own best life. Follow Lauren on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Call (860) 339-6515 or email for your free initial consultation.

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