Ross Hicks who has been appointed to the State of Maine Task Force to address Opiate Addiction will address the topic of Overdose Prevention on Thursday evening, May 11th as part of a Town Hall meeting in Caribou.

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Hicks will focus on the growing issue of opiate addiction and other substance abuse issues.  Hicks has started and completed a Bachelor’s in Political Science, entered long term recovery from substance use disorder and began working for the Health Equity Alliance (HEAL) as the Harm Reduction Coordinator. During his time with HEAL Ross has developed and implemented the most efficient overdose prevention program in the state.

Peter McCorison, Director of Substance Abuse Services at the Aroostook Mental Health Center said that Ross is very focused on preventing deaths from drug overdose.

“Ross is very concerned about the growing number of deaths here in Maine from drug overdose”, said McCorison who is part of the committee planning for the Town Hall meeting.  “He speaks from experience and has been a strong advocate for making Narcan more readily available to individuals at risk for overdose”.

Narcan or Naloxone is a prefilled auto-injection device (Evzio) used along with emergency medical treatment to reverse the life-threatening effects of a known or suspected opiate (narcotic) overdose.  The medication also comes in a nasal spray.  Currently Narcan is generally prescribed by a health care provider.  Due to stigma associated with drug abuse, many addicts or those at risk for overdose will not seek out the Narcan and many states have now made it possible for family members to access the life-saving product.

Hick’s comments will be part of a multi-part program designed to increase awareness of the growing epidemic of drug over dose deaths in Maine and in Aroostook County.  The program will also feature comments by those in recovery and those who have lost loved ones to drug overdose.  The film, ‘The Anonymous People’ will also be presented.   The Anonymous People is a feature documentary film about the over 23 million Americans living in long-term recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs.

The Town Hall style community meeting will be held on Thursday, May 11 at 6:30 pm at the Caribou Performing Arts Center.  The entire community is invited to attend.

 

There is no requirement to pre-register for the community meeting.  There will be an opportunity for individuals to sign up for action committees that will begin meeting the week following the event.  For more information contact the community relations office at Cary Medical Center 498-1112.