Aug. 4 community drug forums will take place in both North and South County

MAYVILLE – Chautauqua County Executive Vincent Horrigan and Chautauqua County Community Mental Hygiene Services Director Patricia Brinkman have announced two additional Community Drug Forums focused on the growing epidemic of opiate use and abuse in Chautauqua County. These forums will focus on the same issues and topics featured in the initial Community Drug Forum and will be held on Aug. 4 from 9 a.m. to noon at Jamestown Community College Carnahan Building, 525 Falconer St. in Jamestown, and 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. at Jamestown Community College North County Training Center, 10807 Bennett Road in Dunkirk.

Despite blizzard-like conditions, the initial Community Drug Forum in Mayville had over 200 people in attendance. The powerful turnout was a great start, but the suggestion was made that subsequent forums be held at the two ends of the county to reach those who couldn’t make the first.

Planning for the initial forum began shortly after Horrigan was elected and has been led by Brinkman. Other key stakeholders who have been involved in preparations for the event include leaders from the Chautauqua Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Council, WCA Hospital, Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office, Chautauqua County Department of Mental Hygiene, the Mental Health Association, Dunkirk Police Department, Jamestown Police Department, Chautauqua County Office of Emergency Services, The Resource Center and Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services.

From the initial Community Drug Forum came a Steering Committee made up of representatives from county government, law enforcement, mental health and chemical dependency agency leaders, media, and members of the business community. They developed smaller sub group Action Teams that will individually focus on Court/Law Enforcement/Probation, PR/Media, Treatment, Advocacy, Education/Prevention. These Action Teams are open to the community and those interested are encouraged to join their efforts. For more information on how to join, contact Sue Hawley at 753-4104.

For more information concerning the Community Forum, contact the Chautauqua County Department of Mental Hygiene by calling 753-4104.