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Quincy College to lead Substance Abuse Symposium & Discussion

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April 27, 2016
Quincy College creates a forum for Southeastern Massachusetts communities to tackle Substance Abuse Prevention and Opioid Crisis

Summit for Opiate Solutions and the Substance Abuse Symposium facilitate regional discussions and identify actionable solutions

Quincy, MA: Quincy College is taking a leadership role in regional conversations surrounding substance abuse and the opioid crisis by hosting two open to the public events on both their Plymouth and Quincy campuses.  On April 28th at Noon, Quincy College will host the Substance Abuse Symposium: End the Stigma in the Lower Level Conference Room at the Quincy Campus (1250 Hancock Street, Quincy). This event is free and open to the public; media is welcome to attend. Quincy College also hosted the well-attended Summit for Opiate Solutions on April 20 at the Krovitz Library on the Plymouth Campus (36 Cordage Park Circle, Plymouth)

The April 28th Substance Abuse Symposium and Panel Discussion is hosted by the Quincy College Addiction Awareness Club. Many issues surrounding drug and alcohol abuse will be discussed. A diverse panel of speakers touching upon all aspects of addiction will lead the discussion.
 
The panel will be moderated by Kristen McLaughlin, President of the Quincy College Addiction Awareness Club and will feature the following panelists:

Mayor Koch
Mayor, City of Quincy
 
Father James Hawker
Board of Governors at Quincy College

Lt. Patrick Glynn
Drug Task Force
Quincy Police Department

Kevin Rosario
Regional Outreach Representative
Gosnold on the Cape

Tara Buonanno Williams
Mrs. Massachusetts 2016

Massachusetts community groups will be on hand to provide information on support services including Gavin Foundation, A New Way Recovery Center, MOAR, Adcare, Spectrum, Baystate Community Services, Learn to Cope, and Gosnold.
 
Quincy College student, Marisa Carson and another Quincy College student who are in recovery will speak at the event as well.  Ms. Carson who started the Quincy College Addiction Awareness Club in the Fall of 2016 reflects on the intentions of the Club:  "As someone involved in the local recovery community, I wanted to create a safe space on the Quincy College campus for anyone to get support or information. The Quincy College Addiction Awareness Club hosts the Substance Abuse Symposiums every semester. We meet as a club once a week. All of our club members are very knowledgeable in recovery specifically, so I feel we have the life experience to be able to help and provide suggestions. We certainly are not replacing clinical,  medical advice, but we provide a network of support for Quincy College students. Club discussions have included the benefits of having a sponsor, get someone connected to recovery programs, or provide them with a list of local detoxes."

Quincy College's Plymouth campus located at 36 Cordage Park is also leading the conversations around actionable solutions to the opioid crisis. On April 20, 2016, the Plymouth Community came together to fight opiate addiction. Over 100 students and community members filled the Krovitz Library in Plymouth to review student research posters with actionable solutions to the opioid crisis, to listen to a feature presentation from Dr. Joe Shrand of Chief of Adolescent treatment of Highpoint and founder of Drug Story Theatre. Quincy College student, Asia Shanahan-Jewett discussed her research. It was especially heartening to have in attendance several members of the Plymouth community including the Chief Botieri, Captain Rogers, representatives from the hospital, sheriffs office, police academy

In organizing events like the Summit for Opiate Solutions, Dr. Kenneth Texeira Ph.D, Quincy College Professor of Psychology/Sociology has strengthened the bonds between Quincy College and the Plymouth recovery community. In addition to this role at Quincy College, Dr. Texeira is the Research Director for Drug Story Theatre. Drug Story Theatre is an innovative, research-based substance abuse program that integrates therapeutic group sessions, improv exercises, and family involvement in the recovery process who recently presented their program at the Massachusetts State House.

"The SOS- Summit for Opiate Solutions was originally a Substance Abuse Roundtable that has evolved to encompass the greater South Shore communities, " Dr. Texeira states. "This event is intended to be a resource for families, for the communities that are searching for a solution to opiate addiction. As an instructor at Quincy College I asked my Psychology and Sociology students to research and design poster presentations that highlight actionable solutions to this crisis.  The impact of this event is immense and wide reaching. Some of the ideas that have been presented are being put into action at regional drug coalitions. By focusing on solutions, rather than the stigma of addiction, we are hopeful that we can change lives and impact the greater community of which, we, Quincy College, are a vital member. "

For more information about Quincy College Student Services, please visit: http://www.quincycollege.edu/departments/student-development.