CLAREMONT — A rise in drug misuse, abuse and addiction in the greater Sullivan County and Upper Valley communities has caused community leaders to come together for a drug forum at the end of the month.
The “Our Community, Our Future: Heroin and Prescription Drug Summit” is planned for April 29 from 8 a.m. to noon at The Common Man Restaurant at 21 Water St. in Claremont.
“It’s really an opportunity to one, create awareness over the issues and number two, to look to community partners that might not already be involved in the effort to address the problem to get involved,” Claremont Police Chief Alexander Scott said. “I’m happy that they asked me to participate and certainly it’s an important topic.”
Scott said his concern has been echoed by police chiefs across the state, that prescription opiate misuse and overdoses have been on the rise the past few years and that there has been a significant increase in heroin use and addiction along with the crimes, such as robbery, that result in addicts trying to pay to for their addictions.
“Certainly Claremont is not immune to that,” Scott said.
A community approach needs to take place to reduce drug abuse and addiction and as a result the crimes associated with fueling drug abuse and addiction will be reduced, Scott said.
“Law enforcement is keenly aware that it simply can’t arrest its way out of the problem,” Scott said. “This forum is really dedicated to really look at a board community conversation to solutions to the problem.”
The forum is being sponsored by the Claremont Police Department, Communities United Regional Network for Sullivan County, the Sullivan County Public Health Network, and the Upper Valley Public Health Partnership, with support from The Common Man.
The program is free and includes light breakfast and lunch, but registration is requested.
To register, contact Liz Hennig at 477-8896 or via email at email@example.com.