Fairfield Cares sponsors presentation on addiction

The Fairfield Cares Community Coalition (Fairfield Cares) invites parents and teens to attend All American Addict on May 2, from 7-8:30 p.m., at Fairfield Ludlowe High School. This educational presentation and discussion will provide parents and teens with first-hand perspectives on the disease of addiction, its effects on sufferers and family members, and how to get help.

Fairfield Cares is a task force established in 2009 by the Fairfield First Selectman’s Office to prevent underage drinking and substance misuse. Members include parents, school representatives, local business leaders, law enforcement, clergy, counseling professionals, and members of youth services organizations. Some of the committee’s goals include decreasing the number of 12-to 18-year-olds who regularly use alcohol, increasing the perceived danger of alcohol use for young people, and raising awareness of the social host law. The ongoing work of the task force highlights the fact that underage drinking and substance misuse remain problems in Fairfield.

Attendees of the May 2 presentation may find the speakers particularly relatable. Stephen Hill is president and founder of Speak Sobriety, an organization that educates individuals, families, and organizations about the disease of addiction. Hill, who grew up near Fairfield, struggled with addiction as a teenager and will share his journey from addiction to recovery. Lauren Springer, a Connecticut resident, is the mother of a son with addiction and a licensed addiction treatment provider specialized in adolescent treatment. Springer is the director of family relations at Turnbridge, a New Haven addiction treatment provider for emerging adults. Hill and Springer will share their personal experiences of living with addiction and their extensive knowledge about how addiction affects individuals and families, how to identify and prevent misuse, and how to find effective care.

Addiction is a significant problem affecting people of all ages and all walks of life. Overdose is now the leading cause of death for Americans under 50. In Connecticut, overdoses increased 200% between 2012 and 2017 and the number of deaths has increased in each of those years according to State Medical Examiner Dr. James Gill1. Fairfield CARES would like to remind families that while recent government efforts are bringing important attention to the country’s opioid epidemic, alcohol accounts for 88,000 deaths per year according to the National Institutes of Health. The members of Fairfield Cares would like to encourage parents and teens to attend this free session to learn and ask questions.

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