Chief Patrick Keefe
32 North Main St.
Andover, MA 01810
For Immediate Release
Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Contact: Jessica Sacco
Email: [email protected]
Town of Andover Declares October Opioid Addiction Awareness Month
Police Took In 300 Pounds of Unused Prescriptions on Drug Take Back Day, More Than 725 Pounds So Far This Year
ANDOVER — Chief Patrick Keefe and the Andover Police Department announce that as part of the ongoing effort to curb substance abuse and overdose in the community, the Town of Andover declared October to be Opioid Addiction Awareness Month.
“There is not a single community that has gone untouched by devastating effects of addiction, including our own,” Chief Keefe said. “We have made strides through successful programs like Drug Take Back Day, but Opioid Addiction Awareness Month is a unique opportunity for the entire town to come together to learn more on the issue. Together we can work toward assisting those who are struggling with the disease get the help they need and deserve.”
Below is a schedule of events open to the public for Opioid Addiction Awareness Month:
Oct. 1 from 6-7 p.m.
“If Only” Documentary from the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation
Lawrence Showcase Cinemas, 6 Chickering Road
Oct. 7 at 7 p.m.
Parent to Parent Program hosts Guest Speaker Randy Taran, founder of Project Happiness
Doherty Middle School Auditorium, 50 Bartlet St.
Oct. 14, all day
Andover High School, 80 Shawsheen Road
Oct. 14 at 7 p.m.
“Whole Child, Whole School, Whole Community” – Andover Public Schools Health Department will speak on protective factors for students and parents.
Collins Center, 100 Shawsheen Road
Oct. 17 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Public Safety Open House – Information on resources for addiction and substance abuse will be provided during the open house.
Andover Public Safety Building, 32 N Main St.
Oct. 17 from 3-8:30 p.m.
Andover Cares Concert – Rotary Club Fundraiser for the Andover Cares Fund to sponsor education and awareness in the Andover Community
Central Park, Andover
Oct. 24 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Spirituality and Addiction – A seminar intended for clergy, pastors, rabbis, and interested laity who minister to addicts to enhance outreach to addicts, those at risk, and their family and friends.
West Parish Church, 129 Reservation Road
Oct. 28 at 7 p.m.
Andover Youth Center
The Andover Police Department would also like to commend Andover Public Schools on their dedication to raising awareness and increasing education about opioid use through prevention, support and intervention, and community response.
Programs like “Open Circle,” aimed at increasing positive social skills and decreasing the potential of isolation and bullying, are part of the schools’ effort to decrease the risk of addiction among youths. Required health education classes, a Youth Risk Behavior Survey, events focused on opioid awareness, and a dedicated staff of social workers and nurses are all part of an effort to educate and offer support to students to prevent addiction in the future.
Moving forward, schools will be increasing emphasis on opioids in the health curriculum, providing training opportunities for faculty and staff to enhance their ability to identify substance abuse, and will offer counseling and family outreach.
In August, the Andover Police Department partnered with the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) and is seeking to hire two additional full-time staff members, a Program Coordinator for Community Awareness, Education and Outreach, and a Substance Abuse Clinician.
The new staff members, who will report directly to Chief Keefe, are part of the department’s mission to combat opioid addiction by providing assistance, resources and help to residents in need.