Opiate Addiction Forum Draws Large Audience at Phoenix House Academy in Westchester

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Andrew Kolodny MD presentationThe auditorium at Phoenix House Academy in Westchester was filled with over 200 guests for our opiate addiction forum on March 13th organized in partnership with Drug Crisis In Our Backyard. Attendees included community members from Westchester county and the Hudson Valley, as well as those traveling from as far away as Pennsylvania and Long Island. Phoenix House Chief Medical Officer Andrew Kolodny, M.D., journalist David Sheff, and filmmaker Greg Williams were our guest speakers for the evening and each presentation proved to be eye opening and emotionally charged. A short highlight video from the forum can be viewed here.

Dr. Kolodny, a leading expert on opioid addiction and President of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing, presented a history of prescription drug abuse in the United States from the 1800s to the present, combined with thought-provoking analysis.

David Sheff provided thoughtful advice and recollections of confronting his son Nic’s addiction, the subject of his first book, Beautiful Boy. He also spoke about his experiences researching the science of addiction issues, which led to his follow-up book, Clean. His journey has helped many parents realize that they are not alone. Educating other parents and receiving heartfelt feedback has been a fulfilling and healing experience for David and his family.

Greg Williams showed a trailer from his award-winning documentary, The Anonymous People, an inspirational film that stresses the importance of sharing recovery stories in order to encourage people to seek help and decrease the stigma of addiction. Greg also spoke about activism and awareness, his personal recovery experiences, and his work to help others new to recovery, especially young people.

A special resource room was open before and after the forum where informational materials were available and staff and volunteers provided guidance for guests on recovery services and prevention for adults and teens. David Sheff signed books and spoke with guests, while Greg Williams also signed copies of The Anonymous People DVD. We were very proud to be a part of this important forum and thank all partners and guests attending the event. Dr. Kolodny, David Sheff, and Greg Williams captivated the audience with their unique presentations and the Q&A session was very lively and generated stimulating discussion. Additional photos from the event are featured on our Facebook page.

Drug Crisis In Our Backyard, founded by the Salomone and Christiansen families in 2012, is a grassroots community volunteer group working to promote awareness of the rampant epidemic of prescription and illegal drug addiction. They provide support and advise families on how to find help and resources by partnering with other drug treatment agencies and advocates in the suburbs of upstate New York. This event was their sixth educational forum in a continuing series. 

Phoenix House is committed to protecting and supporting teens, adults, their families, and communities affected by substance abuse and dependency. Our Academies provide an array of services including individual, group, and family counseling, along with evidence-based clinical treatment programs addressing each client’s individual needs. Teens at the Academy attend school on-site, where they can earn their diplomas or credits that can be transferred to their home schools.

To find out more about the programs and services offered at Phoenix House, call our toll-free number today: 1 888 671 9392.

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