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Champions hosts heroin town hall meeting March 6

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Champions for a Drug Free Carroll County will be hosting our annual town hall meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 6 at the General Butler State Resort Park Convention Center. Each year Champions holds a town hall meeting to bring awareness to one specific drug or issue that Carroll County may be facing. With death statistics rising due to heroin, this year’s topic was a simple choice.

According to drugabuse.org, “Approximately 120,000 people die each year from heroin abuse worldwide.” Now we are seeing it hit so close to home in Carroll County, and we are ready and willing to take a stand.

This town hall meeting will be used as our opportunity to unveil Carroll County’s strategy to diminish heroin abuse. Our community’s plan is mirrored from a similar plan compiled from The Northern KY ASAP (Agency for Substance Abuse Policy) Alliance, which Champions for a Drug Free Carroll County is proud to be a part of.

A sneak peek into our plan includes these aspects: prevent, protect, treat and support. We encourage you to attend the town hall meeting in order to view the plan in its entirety. Along with unveiling our plan, there will be award-winning panelists from Northern Kentucky to speak with the audience. Each speaker is highly knowledgeable within his/her area of expertise, and they are eager to speak with our community.

The following are this year’s speakers: Charlotte Wethington, parent and recovery advocate; Dr. Mike Kalfas, physician; Dr. Jeremy Engel, the physician who spearheaded the NKY Heroin Impact Response Team; Jason Merrick, NKY People Advocating recovery; Ashel Kruetzkamp, nurse manager at St. Elizabeth Hospital ER; and Bonnie Hedrick, Northern KY ASAP Prevention Alliance.

Speakers’ stories and testimonies may require you to bring tissues as you listen to some sad, harsh truths, but we encourage everyone to attend the town hall meeting in order to hear their stories and their knowledge.

We also are using this night as an opportunity to recognize our wonderful, hard-working CHAMPS and Junior Champions students from Cartmell, Carroll County Middle School and Carroll County High School. They are students that make positive decisions on a daily basis and learn every week about the dangers of drugs and alcohol through our school programs and Health Rocks curriculum.

If time permits, we are allowing audience members to place any questions they may have with Assistant Coordinator Kimberly Fain. We will make an effort to answer every question and place a knowledgeable response onto our website.

There will be free resources and refreshments provided at the event. Resources will be provided by booth participants including Champions for a Drug Free Carroll County, The Brook, Self Refined, North Key Prevention, Carroll County Health Department, AA & Associates Drug and Alcohol Treatment and more.

We highly encourage the entire community to make an effort to attend this event. The deaths from heroin alone have been staggering in 2013 and will continue to damage our community if an effort is not made to work together to diminish substance abuse. We cannot do it alone — help us fight the fight and join us at the heroin town hall meeting at 6 p.m. March 6 at General Butler State Resort Park Convention Center. Local law enforcement, political leaders and other community individuals have been personally invited to attend as well. You can find a flyer on our Facebook page (Carroll County Champions) for more information, in most local businesses and even in your grocery bag at Kroger and Save-a-Lot. 

This event is being sponsored by Champions for a Drug Free Carroll County through a grant we wrote and received within The Northern KY ASAP Alliance. If you have any questions regarding the event or if you would like to set up a booth, please call Hayley Franklin at (502) 525-3571.

 

Hayley Franklin is coordinator of Champions for a Drug Free Carroll County.