Events / Activities

National Prescription Drug Take Back Event

On Saturday, April 29, 2017, the AHM CHEC Coalition participated in the annual National Take Back Day Event on the grounds of RHAM High School.

For over a month, community members and school leaders worked with law enforcement to bring this program to fruition.  Since this local project began in 2011, the AHM CHEC Coalition has collected over 1,700 pounds of unwanted medications.  The AHM Take Back collection site has been a model of success through a regional cooperative effort of multiple community partners.

At the April 29th event, the Coalition collected 203 pounds of medications.  An additional 23.5 pounds of unwanted medications were collected from the new Rx Drop Box, sponsored in part by the Coalition and located at the Hebron Public Safety Complex on Route 66, Main Street in Hebron.  This Rx Drop Box is monitored by the Hebron Resident Troopers.  The total combined amount of unwanted medications collected during this year’s Take Back Event, was 226.5 pounds.

Coffee Talk with a Trooper Town Hall Meeting to Reduce Underage Drinking

For the second time this year a community conversation took place on April 8, 2016 with experts in the field of prevention of adolescent substance abuse that confront many of today’s social challenges when working with young people. Guest speakers included Francis J. Carino, Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney from the Chief State’s Attorney Office, representatives from Intercommunity, Inc. an outpatient mental health and substance abuse treatment provider and a local Resident State Trooper. Topics of conversation included underage drinking laws, Social host laws, the recently created local party patrol program and tip line, teen driving laws, and teenage alcohol and drug prevention efforts taking place in the towns of Andover, Columbia, Hebron and Marlborough and mental health resources that parents can utilize when confronting the issue of underage drinking.

Community Forum to Address Prescription Drug Misuse and Abuse and Heroin Use in AHM Communities

Communities across Connecticut have joined forces to host Opiate Forums for everyday people to learn first-hand what is happening and what can be done to help those suffering from what has become a national health crisis. On April 28, 2016 the AHM CHEC Coalition, the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and ERASE hosted a Community Forum to address prescription drug misuse and abuse, and Heroin use in the communities of Andover, Columbia, Hebron and Marlborough. The panel of experts included: Miriam Delphin-Rittman, Connecticut Commissioner from the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Dr. Don Timmerman, is board certified in Family Medicine and Addiction Medicine, Daniel Greenwood, Hebron Resident Trooper First Class – Connecticut State Police, Lt. Cody porter , Rebecca Allen, from CCAR (and a voice of what it means to be in recovery), Mary Painter LCSW, LADC she is the Director of Substance Abuse and Domestic Violence Services at the CT Department of Children and Families. The forum was moderated by longtime AHM CHEC Coalition member Kelley Lafleur.

National Prescription Drug Take Back Event

Take Back 2016On April 30th, 2016 cars had  lined up at RHAM High School to turn in unwanted and outdated prescription and over the counter medications at the annual Take Back event. The Take Back event was coordinated by the AHM CHEC Coalition in partnership with the DEA, the Connecticut State Police, Regional School District #8, Andover, Columbia, Hebron and Marlborough school districts and ERASE. The coalition was excited to break new records collecting 13 boxes of 450 pounds of over the counter and prescription medications.

Marijuana Prevention Forum

On February 12, 2015 a Marijuana Prevention Forum was held at the RHAM High School Auditorium.  Guests heard from Alicia Farrell, Ph.D. who is an accomplished cognitive psychiatrist; Francis J. Carino, Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney; and Becca, a young woman in recovery from marijuana dependence.  Collectively they gave an outstanding presentation to an audience of about forty-five youth and adults.

The forum addressed the various reasons why marijuana use is harmful on the adolescent brain.  Marijuana is addictive and it is estimated that about 1 in 6 people who start using as a teen, and 25% to 50% of those who use it everyday, become addicted to marijuana.  Marijuana use is also linked to reduced school performance, impaired driving, and can be a potential gateway to other drugs.

The main chemical in marijuana, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) affects areas of the brain that are important for normal development and function.  Alicia spoke about the potency of marijuana today and how the average potency of pot has more than tripled in the past two decades.

One parent commented, “In my parenting role I will have the knowledge to back up my rules.”  The CHEC continues to raise awareness about the harmful effects of marijuana.

The forum was filmed and will air on Community Voice Channel 5 Program.  The forum can also be accessed on demand.

Training for Coalition Members

A training was held on March 16, 2015.  Connecticut State Police, Western District Major Crime Squad, Sgt. Christopher Bartolotta, presented “The Effects of Underage Drinking and Social Host Laws” to a small group of attendees including Representative Gayle Mulligan (R-55) and RHAM Principal, Scott Leslie.

Drive to Save Lives Tour:  The Effects of Underage Drinking

On May 7, 2015 the Drive to Save Lives Tour presented at the RHAM High School Auditorium.

Drive to Save Lives was presented by Kathi and Chris Sullivan.  The Sullivan’s have traveled across the country sharing with parents and teens important lessons about underage drinking through their own personal experiences and tragedy.  The topics of their presentation focused upon underage drinking, substance abuse and addiction, alcohol abuse and the legal responsibilities of adults in relationship to Social Host Laws.  They also shared helpful information about how to address issues of anxiety and depression within families.

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