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Tewksbury Announces Schedule Of Events For Substance Abuse Awareness Month

Al Fresca Ristorante

 As the Town of Tewksbury continues to face and fight the increasing indiscriminate substance abuse epidemic within the area (seventy five reported overdoses and six related fatalities since January 1st, 2018 here in Tewksbury alone), we feel that raising public awareness is a crucial weapon in that battle. 
Opioid abuse is viewed as the largest and fastest growing drug problem in Massachusetts and we aim to provide our community with a level of education that will afford an ounce of prevention and some promise for a better future. 
Atty. Paul King

 The Tewksbury Police Department is working collaboratively with various Town departments and local organizations to develop and arrange for programing that will further increase the education and awareness levels.
The Tewksbury Police Department, Tewksbury Board of Health, Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, Tewksbury CARES, Tewksbury School Department, Tewksbury Public Library, Tewksbury Education Foundation, Greater Lowell Health Alliance, Lahey Health Behavioral Services, Lowell General Hospital, Learn to Cope, and several other community organizations have committed to taking a stand together against the substance abuse problem in Tewksbury.

With the support of both the School Department and the Board of Health, we have requested that the Board of Selectmen declare the month of October as “Substance Use Prevention and Education Month 2018”. Throughout this month, we are excited to be working with the School Department to provide much needed educational programs to our student population. The Tewksbury Police Department feels that it is not only important to target the student population during this month long endeavor but also the adult and senior populations of Tewksbury and the surrounding communities.  

This is our seventh year undertaking this endeavor and this year, due to the intensity of the crisis, we once again requested the declaration for the entire month. It is our hope that these events and the declaration “Substance Use Prevention and Education Month” will continue annually until we turn the tides on this modern day plague. All of the communities in the Greater Lowell area have been replicating this Substance Use Prevention and Education initiative in their communities during the month of October and we are excited about the positive feedback and results. We realize we will not arrest our way out of this epidemic and that the answer lies within collaboration and education.  

Tewksbury’s 2018 Substance Use Prevention and Education Month (open to the public)

October 14, 6:30 PM-8:30 PM, Overdose Candle Light Vigil: Lahey Behavioral Health Services and Tewksbury Police Department will host a vigil in remembrance of those who’ve died as a result of the disease of addiction, as well as for those loved ones who are in recovery and mourning. Tewksbury State Hospital, 365 East Street, Tewksbury. Light refreshments will be served. This event is free and open to all.

October 15, 11:00 AM-1:00 PM, Truth About Vaping: Tewksbury Public Library, 300 Chandler Street, Tewksbury. This event is free and open to all.

October 16, 10:00 AM-11:30 AM, Why is Substance Abuse Important to Me?: Tewksbury Senior Center, 175 Chandler Street, Tewksbury. This event is free and open to all.

October 16, 6:00 PM-8:00 PM, Parent Presentation Ryan’s Story: A program designed for parents and caregivers of children in grades K-12. The program is facilitated by John Halligan whose objective is to provide information on the effects and consequences of bullying, cyberbullying, and by standing.  John F. Ryan Elementary School Library, 135 Pleasant Street, Tewksbury.  This forum is free and open to all.

October 23, 10:00 AM-11:30 AM, Combatting Opioids with Narcan: Tewksbury Senior Center, 175 Chandler Street, Tewksbury. This event is free and open to all.

October 25, 4:00 PM-8:00 PM Hidden in Plain Sight: The exhibit and presentation by the Tewksbury Police Department is intended to educate the community’s parents and adults in order to prevent risky behaviors by young people. The exhibit appears to be at first glance the bedroom of the average teenager. Visitors will learn, though, that amidst the clutter of clothing scattered on the floor, school supplies on a desk, and personal care products on a vanity are items that can actually be signals that a young person could be involved in risky, dangerous, and even illegal activity. Knights of Columbus, 2068 Main Street, Tewksbury. This event is free and open to all.

October 27, 10AM-2PM, Prescription Drug Take Back: Please bring your unwanted and unused medication to the Tewksbury Police Department for proper medication disposal. Tewksbury Police Department, 918 Main Street, Tewksbury. This event is free and open to all.

To learn more about the programs schedule for this week or to get involved, please contact Officer Jennie Welch at (978)851-7373, ext. 230 or Substance Abuse Prevention Collaborative Program Director Maria Ruggiero at (978)851-7373, ext. 352.

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