The Warwick Valley Prevention Coalition applauds and joins Warwick Working Together in planning a community discussion about the opioid crisis. Since 2009, under the leadership of the Warwick Valley Community Center, the Warwick Valley Prevention Coalition has been a voice for those suffering from substance use disorder and their families.
We have worked to reduce stigma in our community by educating about the disorder, have provided information on resources for prevention, treatment and recovery in our community, and worked with elected officials to change policy on a county level regarding the availability of various substances, which are especially dangerous to our youth.
We have worked closely with the Town of Warwick Police Department and the Warwick Valley Central School District to provide prevention services to youth and all community members who are at risk. In 2017, the Police Dept. collected over 800 lbs. of unused prescription drugs, including opioids, through their 24 hour disposal box. This box became available in 2016 through the efforts of the Warwick Valley Prevention Coalition.
Like Warwick Working Together, we also believe that “advocacy and grassroots efforts can make a difference in addressing the real nature of the threat communities like ours are up against.” That is why the Warwick Valley Prevention Coalition is committed to supporting the community discussion and panel. We will have coalition members from the NYS National Guard Counterdrug Task Force, the OC District Attorney’s Office and the Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Council participating in this important event, as well as representation from the Town of Warwick Police, among other coalition members.
The Warwick Valley Prevention Coalition also meets monthly to address these important topics and sponsors various events throughout the year to reduce substance use disorder. Our mission is to reduce alcohol and marijuana abuse among youth and to prevent initiation into all drug use, including opioids and especially heroin, by encouraging wise and healthy decisions by all community members. We meet the fourth Thursday of every month at the Warwick Valley Community Center, located at 11 Hamilton Ave. in Warwick, at 6:30 p.m. For more information, call 986-6422, ext. 4.
On Fri., Feb. 23, I will introduce the film “Chasing Heroin,” being shown at the Albert Wisner Library, located at 1 McFarland Dr. in Warwick, at 7 p.m. This powerful examination of the heroin crisis first aired on PBS’ Frontline. It is an important introduction to the panel’s discussion on Fri., Mar. 9. Please plan to attend both events, and make time to attend the monthly Warwick Valley Prevention Coalition meetings.
ANNIE COLONNA, WARWICK VALLEY PREVENTION COALITION COORDINATOR