Rochester drug abuse forum set for Thursday

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Bridging The Gaps is hosting a second community forum on Thursday at the Rochester Opera House from 6:30-8:30 p.m. This forum follows the first held in February titled "It Takes a Village," that drew a crowd of over 140 community members. The topic of the first forum was the effects that the opioid epidemic has had on the community, and how everyone can begin to play a role in the solution.

This upcoming forum is titled "It Takes A Village - Taking Action," and will bring local community organizations to the stage to share with the audience all of the work that is being done in response to high substance use rates. Those organizations include Hope on Haven Hill, Rochester Youth Reach, SOS Community Recovery Center, Safe Schools Healthy Students, and more.

Information tables will be set up for people to access opportunity's to get involved with these organizations. Bridging The Gaps Coalition Coordinator Molly Martuscello said, "Based on the response from our last forum, it was apparent that the community needed more information on the existing local organizations that are working to reduce substance use. We are bringing a lot of those organizations in for this forum in hopes that folks can get connected to volunteer opportunities, sign up for e-mail list, or utilized those services."

There will also be a lengthy question and answer session, with panel representatives from law enforcement, the school department, government, the faith community, and the coalition. Closing the night will be a Naloxone (Narcan) education session and free kits available, provided by One Voice for Strafford County.

Bridging The Gaps is Rochester's drug and alcohol prevention coalition that is made up of community members from all types of backgrounds. The focus of the coalition is to bring the community together in a collaborative effort to reduce substance use, particularly among youth. For more information on this event or Bridging The Gaps, you can contact Molly Martuscello at or visit

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