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Stopping substance misuse, abuse seen as collective effort at Pinkerton Academy forum

Union Leader Correspondent

May 21. 2014 7:33PM
Among those involved at the Substance Misuse Treatment and Trends forum in Derry were, from left, Lisa Madden, Center for Life Management vice president and COO; Elizabeth Roth, chair, CLM board of directors; Gov. Maggie Hassan; and Vic Topo, CLM president and CEO. (COURTESY)

DERRY — More than 200 people attended a substance abuse conference Tuesday at Pinkerton Academy’s Stockbridge Theatre, according to organizers.

The topic for the conference, “Substance Misuse Treatment and Trends,” was touched upon by Gov. Maggie Hassan during her opening remarks to attendees that included mental health specialists, guidance counselors, school nurses, law enforcement and medical professionals, according to a news release.

“Substance misuse is one of our state’s most pressing challenges, straining our families, hurting the productivity of our workers and undermining the safety of our communities,” Hassan said. “In order to address this challenge, we must improve access to treatment and strengthen our prevention efforts, and the work of everyone at the Substance Misuse Treatment and Trends Conference is critical to our continued efforts to find community-based solutions.”

The conference was presented the Center for Life Management with the support of funding provided by the NH Bureau of Behavioral Health.

Programs speakers included Joseph Harding, director of the NH Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services; Dr. Thomas Andrew, NH Medical Examiner; and Nick Pfeifer, with the Center for Life Management substance misuse services. Following the speakers’ presentations, there was a panel discussion with community experts representing school guidance, law enforcement, emergency medicine, mental health and substance abuse treatment.

Celia Felsenberg, CLM’s director of Adult Services, said, “The biggest reason for doing the conference is to bring all of these providers together to respond to a very prevalent issue in the state. We are trying to do what we can to move things in a more positive direction with resources and collaboration.”

The Center for Life Management is a non-profit community mental health organization that last year served more than 5,300 people of all ages including children, adolescents, adults and seniors, according to the release.

For more information, contact the Center for Life Management at 603.434.1577 or visit

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