Bucks County Herald

Community member input guides substance abuse prevention efforts



New Hope-Solebury Township Police Department Chief Dominick Bellizzie and New Hope Borough Police Department Chief Michael Cummings listen to presenters at the Aug. 31, “All Hands In Event” at the Event Center by Cornerstone.

Following its successful “All Hands In for Addiction Prevention and Recovery” event on Aug. 31, New Hope Solebury Cares (NHSC) has begun work on next steps based on participant suggestions.

“The event was just as much about getting feedback from our community as it was about increasing awareness about how the opioid crisis is impacting us locally,” said Andrea de la Flor, executive director. At the meeting, attendees discussed the area resources already in place to support substance abuse prevention and recovery and what they wanted to see more of. Community assets included support groups for individuals in recovery and their families, school-based education and programming, and professional service providers.

When asked what they wanted to see more of, residents requested more education and awareness opportunities for youth, parents, and other youth-serving adults. Teen participants would like to see more youth-focused activities, community gatherings, and opportunities to mentor younger peers. Area faith leaders agreed that they can make a positive impact by offering prayer groups and vigils, promoting acceptance, facilitating dialogue, and educating youth and families.

“Right now, we are engaging residents to help us move forward in taking action on these requests. We already have a group of enthusiastic teen leaders planning some fun and healthy youth events and we are designing an educational campaign for the year,” de la Flor continued. The organization is seeking community members with skills in fundraising and communications to serve as members of project teams.

Community members of all ages are invited to get involved and can email info@nhscares.org for more information.

The full “All Hands In for Addiction Prevention and Recovery” event report was provided to community members on Sept. 27 during the NHSC monthly meeting. Visit nhscares.org to view the report and learn more about NHSC.

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