Family & Children’s Association (FCA), a leading health and human services not-for-profit organization on Long Island hosted an International Overdose Awareness Day event that served as a remembrance of the lives lost to this public health epidemic and frank talk from policy and recovery advocates, counselors, families who have lost a loved one to overdose and people in recovery.
International Overdose Awareness Day (Aug. 31) seeks to end overdose, remember without stigma those who have died, acknowledge the grief of family and friends, raise awareness of this serious public health crisis, and stimulate action and discussion about evidence-based overdose prevention and drug policy.
“Our International Overdose Awareness Day event is always a meaningful, emotionally charged and healing event,” FCA President and Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey L. Reynolds, PhD. said. “It’s also a rallying cry for our government officials to direct opioid litigation settlement monies to education, prevention and recovery. Our goal is always to end this epidemic and eliminate the need for an International Overdose Awareness Day.”
Reynolds was among the speakers at the event, along with Dr. Edmond Hakimi of the Long Island Recovery Association (LIRA); Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (LICADD) Executive Director Steve Chassman; Alana Urbont Marino, Director of Community Engagement, Human Understanding & Growth Services, Inc. (HUGS, Inc.); and Larry Lamendola, representing his family, who lost a loved one to the epidemic. Reverend Bobby Lloyd and Dianne Lloyd offered a prayer and conducted the reading of the names during a candlelight vigil.
THRIVE staff and volunteers help individuals and families find, maintain, and strengthen their recovery through peer-based support, resources and referral services; interactive educational programs that promote wellness, economic prosperity and civic engagement; and a safe, welcoming haven for substance-free recreational and social activities.
Family & Children’s Association (FCA) leads the operations and oversight of THRIVE Recovery Community and Outreach Center in partnership with the LICADD, LIRA, Families in Support of Treatment (F.I.S.T.), and HUGS, Inc..THRIVE is funded by the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) and through private contributions.
Also representing FCA were Lisa Burch, MPH, Vice President and COO; Jaymie Kahn-Rapp, AVP of Addiction Prevention, Treatment, & Recovery; and Director of Peer and Recovery Services Nicole Augustino Carey.
—Submitted by Family & Children’s Association