Opioids in Our Community: A Family Meeting

On Wednesday, November 7, 2018, Rhode Island PBS and the Community Care Alliance host “Opioids in Our Community: A Family Meeting” from 5 to 8 p.m. The first of two similar events planned across the state to open channels of discussion about opioid use will be held at St. Ann Arts and Cultural Center, 84 Cumberland St, Woonsocket, Rhode Island. The family events will include a special screening of the Rhode Island PBS documentary, The Fix: Examining Rhode Island’s Opioid Epidemic. The events will also include an information fair by community support organizations and, after the film screening, an opportunity to talk with local prevention and treatment professionals.

Participating organizations in this first event include Blackstone Valley Prevention Coalition; Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island; Community Care Alliance; Landmark Medical Center; RI Dept. of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals; Rhode Island Student Assistance Services, Thundermist Health Center; and Woonsocket Health Equity Zone.

Documentary Illustrates Complex Issues in a Powerful Way

According to the Rhode Island Department of Health, drug overdose is now the leading cause of accidental death in Rhode Island. There are strong genetic, situational, and societal factors that increase the risk of developing opioid addiction. Youth and adults who are at higher risk for substance use disorders do not knowingly or willingly intend to put themselves at this risk. Knowing this, vital conversations that help build crucial skills are needed within families to ensure the risks of opioid use are understood. It is essential to reach adolescents before they start experimenting with opioids.

In The Fix: Examining Rhode Island’s Opioid Epidemic, interviews with individuals in active recovery and their families, counselors, community leaders, emergency responders, doctors, and advocates at prevention organizations, illustrate the toll this epidemic is having on our community, and what is being done to combat this crisis. Due to the sensitive subject matter, this event is rated PG-13 and parental discretion is advised.

Light refreshments will be served and child care is available. The event is free but reservations are required by Friday, November 2. For more information, visit www.ripbs.org.

Next Steps: Additional Community Event and Educational Outreach

A second Opioids in Our Community family meeting is planned for southern Rhode Island in spring 2019. The Opioids in Our Community: A Family Meeting in Woonsocket coincides with launch of an Opioids in Our Community curriculum resource collection for middle and high school instruction, including lesson plans that incorporate video segments from The Fix as well as the 2014 Rhode Island PBS Production, No Hero In Heroin

The instructional resources were developed and written in collaboration with Rhode Island Student Assistance Services, and provide teachers and guidance counselors with high-quality, standards-aligned content to address this challenging topic with students across the state.  These resources are distributed at no cost to teachers, students, and parents through Rhode Island PBS LearningMedia, an online instructional content library at ri.pbslearningmedia.org.

Strong Support Network is Essential to Success

The Opioids in Our Community: A Family Meeting events and educational outreach project are made possible by the generous support of Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island.

About Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (bcbsri.com) is a non-profit, community-focused health plan founded in 1939 to help Rhode Islanders finance their healthcare needs. Today, that’s still a big part of what we’re all about. We are committed to improving the health and peace of mind of our nearly 400,000 members by facilitating their access to affordable, high-quality healthcare. Our goal is to improve the quality of life of our customers and of the people of Rhode Island by improving their health for generations to come. We are an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. Listen to BCBSRI’s podcast, The Rhode to Health, at soundcloud.com/therhodetohealth.

About the Community Care Alliance

Established in 2014 through the merger of the Northern Rhode Island Community Services and Family Resources Community Action, Community Care Alliance empowers people challenged by economic insecurity, mental illness and addictions, housing issues, and other trauma-related concerns. As a fully licensed, certified, multi-service, non-profit, health and human services agency, CCA offers more than 50 programs that address the multiple needs of the people they serve. CCA supports individuals and families in their efforts to meet economic, social and emotional challenges and enhance their well-being. For more information, visit www.communitycareri.org

About Rhode Island PBS Education Services

The Education Services Department of Rhode Island PBS provides content and services to support teaching and learning for educators, students, parents, and learners of all ages in our community. Resources are distributed free-of-charge and leverage high-quality public media content adapted for instructional use, supported by outreach efforts and in-person trainings.  In addition, we offer community engagement film screenings and events to ensure we reach our region’s entire diverse audience.  For more information, visit www.ripbs.org/education. Sign up for the monthly e-Newsletter, and follow us on Facebook (EdServRIPBS) and Twitter (@EdServRIPBS).

About Rhode Island PBS

WSBE Rhode Island PBS is operated by the Rhode Island PBS Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. WSBE Rhode Island PBS is a viewer-supported member of the PBS network of public broadcasting stations, and uses the power of noncommercial media to educate, engage, enrich, inspire, and entertain viewers of all ages in Rhode Island, southeastern Massachusetts, and eastern Connecticut since 1967. WSBE-TV delivers content on two channels: Rhode Island PBS (digital 36.1), and Learn (digital 36.2). For more information about programs at WSBE, visit www.ripbs.org.

Contact Information

PO Box 1700 | Woonsocket, RI | 02895 | Directions
401.235.7000 Main Agency | 401.235.7120 Emergency

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