On April 22nd, Plymouth County Outreach had the honor and privilege to present at the 2019 Annual Drug Abuse Task Force Conference taking place at Bridgewater State University. The conference focused on the power of partnership and featured many distinguished speakers who discussed the importance of community partnerships. We saw this as a great opportunity to express how important all of our partners are to the success of our ever-growing and evolving program.
Chief Botieri gave a brief history of how Plymouth County Outreach came to be what it is today and highlighted the efforts that have lead the Plymouth County Outreach model to be looked at as a best practice nationally. Chief Allen followed up by highlighting the importance of partnerships and pointed out the many PCO partners in the room. He explained how Plymouth County Outreach would not be what it is today without the hard work and dedication of everyone involved, including all of our partners.
One of our Recovery Coaches, Anne Marie Winchester, presented on the importance of recovery coaching and the impact it is making in our communities. Anne Marie shared her own story of hope and how she came to find and obtain a life in recovery. Plymouth County Outreach is grateful for Anne Marie and our team of Recovery Coaches who use their own experiences to help provide resources to those struggling in our communities and their loved ones.
Other speakers at this conference included Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz speaking on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Drug Endangered Children, Drug Intelligence Officer James Cormier from New England HIDTA speaking about the Opioid Response Strategy (ORS), Director of the Brockton Area Prevention Collaborative and Director of Prevention Services at High Point, Hillary Dubois Farquharson speaking on the power of coalitions and Interim Director of Plymouth Council on Aging Conni DiLego speaking on grandparents raising grandchildren. The Keynote Speaker for the day was Jay Ruais, Executive Vice President of Field Advancement, Addiction Policy Forum.
BSU President, Fred Clark got the conference underway with a wonderful welcome and opening remarks. Plymouth County Sheriff Joe McDonald followed with his remarks. He touched on how partnerships are a key piece in fighting the opioid epidemic and that everyone has a role to play in combating it. Sheriff McDonald also discussed the importance of Senate Bill 1414, which if passed, would allow officers to disseminate naloxone at outreach visits.
The Plymouth County Drug Abuse Task Force was formed in the summer of 2015 through the efforts of Plymouth County Sheriff Joe McDonald and Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz. The task force brings together local experts in many fields including law enforcement, education, medical, prevention , treatment and faith based organizations, to assist in the fight against the opioid epidemic.
Enterprise article on the conference: https://www.enterprisenews.com/news/20190422/plymouth-county-officials-stress-united-approach-to-opioid-epidemic