Seventeen people attended our conversation last Wednesday March 26th.  A variety of community sectors were represented including: school, law enforcement, medical, town government, department of health, community not for profits (Hospice, Neighborhoo

d Connections).  The dynamic and open conversation raised the complexities of the issue of prescription drug misuse.  Connections were made across sectors and a variety of strategies to address the issue were brainstormed.  Stay tuned for upcoming activities to move forward on some of these suggestions.

Strategies to reduce the misuse of prescription drugs brainstormed:

·         Create a culture of belonging and connectedness

·         Have more open, nonjudgmental dialogues

·         Substance free thrills – provide ways for youth to get a natural high (healthy risk taking)

·         Educate the public about addiction – it is a disease, it affects people from all aspects of community, put a face to the issue by having people talk about their experience

·         Educate youth and adults about how to cope with stress – create a space for youth to go and access alternative stress relief therapies (yoga, meditation, visualizations, etc.)

·         Parent education – importance of monitoring your child’s use of any drugs prescribed to him/her, how to talk about substance use, how to teach coping strategies for life

·         Educate community on how to dispose of drugs – are there ways to make this easier?

·         Community  members be more involved in school activities – Survivor activity where students participate in challenges in the community and school

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