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Orland Township to host drug symposium

Updated: May 19, 2012 8:12AM



Orland Township will sponsor a public symposium on alcohol and drug abuse, with a focus on heroin, May 2 at Sandburg High School.

The event is an outgrowth of a summit the township held last month, which brought together educators, law enforcement, addiction counselors and others to talk about the rising use and abuse of heroin.

The symposium will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. in the gymnasium of the school, 13300 S. LaGrange Road in Orland Park.

While heroin use has grabbed media attention recently, officials with the township’s youth and family services department said the symposium’s goal is to give parents advice on talking with their kids about alcohol and drug use and abuse, and how to spot signs of substance abuse. Information about the symposium is being shared with elementary schools and high schools as well as parochial schools.

Speakers will include David Lee, owner of Sober Solutions Inc. and co-founder, with his brother, of Intervention Services and Technologies Inc., as well as Mary Egan, addiction counselor and community relations coordinator with Rosecrance, which provides addiction services for adolescents and adults, and has an office in Frankfort.

A representative with the Orland Park Police Department will talk about trends in drug abuse and why there has been a resurgence in heroin use.

There will be a panel discussion about resources and services available to combat substance abuse, and township officials plan to announce the formation of a support group for area families affected by addiction.

For some parents, talking with their child about alcohol and drug use is a difficult first step, and the symposium will offer advice on “how to start that conversation,” said Alison Boutcher, a counselor and prevention coordinator with the township. She described parent-child talk as “the No. 1 prevention” tool.

For more information, call the township’s youth and family services department at (708) 403-4001, or email Kathy Passafiume at kathyp@orlandtwp.org, Cheryl Kokaska at cherylk@orlandtwp.org or Boutcher at alisonb@orlandtwp.org.



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