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Opiate abuse to be discussed at Aug. 19 forum

A community forum on opiate abuse and addiction will be held at 7 p.m. Aug. 19 in the great room at First Presbyterian Church, 2330 S. Main St.
The forum, sponsored by Hancock County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services, aims to reach out to those who have been affected by a loved one’s addiction and to learn of ways to reach those in the midst of their addiction before they enter the criminal justice and/or medical system.
Zach Thomas, director of wellness and education for Hancock County ADAMHS, said the community opiate task force has realized that they encounter those struggling with addiction only once they get arrested, or once they overdose and show up in the emergency room. The hope is to reach out to them before they get to that point.
Thomas said ADAMHS hopes to talk with family members trying to get their loved ones into treatment. He also hopes to encourage those in recovery from addiction who are interested in sharing their story.
The event will include a facilitated discussion during which people will have the opportunity to share their story and provide ideas for what the task force can do to help addicts and their loved ones.

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