Posted by David Mangs
The Rotary District 7890 Addiction Task Force partnered with the Elks to present an educational program at Manchester Community College Thursday 10/4/2018 on the Manchester community’s response to the addiction crisis, and an explanation of how the disease of addiction takes hold of our brain and destroys the lives of addicts.  In 2017 there were 72,000 deaths from drug overdoses in America, and nearly half of Americans have a family member or close friend who has been addicted to drugs.  This epidemic cuts across all sex, race, age, educational levels and every socio-economic status.  As Rotarians we have a responsibility to address this epidemic by doing what we do best: education, collaboration, and advocacy.  The Rotary District 7890 Addiction Task Force has established three main areas of focus:  CREATE AWARENESS of the crisis, INCREASE AND IMPROVE ACCESS to needed and successful services, and REDUCE THE STIGMA OF THIS DISEASE.  

     Manchester Rotarian and Police Chief Marc Montminy, the Rotary District 7890 Addiction Task Force Chair, and Sarah Howroyd, MSW Co-Founder of the Manchester, CT Hope Initiative described the shocking and rapid growth of the addiction crisis and overdose deaths in our country and our state.

They then went on to explain how the MANCHESTER, CT HOPE INITIATIVE has successfully linked law enforcement with treatment services to provide an alternative to arrest and incarceration, while creating a path to recovery for those afflicted with the disease of addiction.

     Our second presentation was made possible by the Elks who brought in a nationally recognized speaker from California: Ray Lozano is a Prevention Specialist and Youth Speaker. Ray, described how the reward system used by our brain leads to an obsessive craving of mind and body that results in our pursuit and use of substances which then takes precedence over all other healthy activities and drives.  When the video program becomes available, please share it with your local service clubs- Rotary, Elks, Lions and Kiwanis, local public access television, our schools, police, and other community organizations.

Many thanks to those who are working to “Make A Difference” in their communities to address our Addiction Crises.
From left to right- Dave Mangs PDG, Marc Montminy Manchester Rotarian and Police Chief, Marc Glass Rotary District 7890 DGN, Ray Lozano Elks member and national speaker on Addiction Prevention, Sarah Howroyd, MSW Co-Founder Manchest , CT HOPE Initiative, and members of the Manchester Elks Lodge.