Chamber hosts members luncheon on opioid education

Posted:  Wednesday, May 17, 2017 - 11:30am

The Boothbay Harbor Region Chamber of Commerce will host a free luncheon for members to educate local businesses on opioid addiction and recovery. The event is called “Recovery is Working” and the Chamber hopes that through education, businesses may be inspired to hire recovering addicts.

The luncheon is at the Tugboat Inn on Thursday, May 25 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“The Chamber hopes to reach out to its membership and encourage participation in programs that help the people who live and work in this community,” sais Patricia Royall, executive director for the Chamber. “Our mission is to promote a positive business climate by focusing on advocacy, access, and leadership. As part of that mission, it is the Chamber's role to empower the region’s business community to collaboratively advance a proactive agenda for economic growth and prosperity.”

There will be a panel discussion, followed by a question and answer period, with Boothbay Harbor Police Chief Bob Hasch, Dr. Aquino Alamo and Holly Stover, addiction outreach coordinator with Boothbay Region Community Resource Council. Stover will speak about local resources the community has to offer for addicts.

“The current opioid crisis has a serious impact on our peninsula on so many different levels. It is important for the entire community to think about ways we can all be part of the solution,” said Stover. “We want to address some common myths and promote the idea that people in recovery can be really incredible employees.”

From the LincolnHealth Coulombe Center for Health Improvement, Director and Program Coordinator Anni Pat McKenney added, “To move the needle on this issue we need to have a three-tiered approach, including education, prevention and intervention.” With LincolnHealth receiving a Maine Health Access Foundation grant increasing patient care for addiction — a program to span over two years — McKenney said it fits well with the efforts from the Chamber. “We are very pleased to be working with our local community in this collaborative effort. Partners like the Boothbay Harbor PD and BRCRC's Addiction Outreach Program are invaluable assets to this community. Success around this issue really takes the coordination of the medical, social services and business community to create lasting change.”

By creating a dialogue around the region’s difficulties with drug addiction, understanding could be a solution for both recovery and economy. Royall said she hopes the event will help local employers understand addiction and motivate them to employ some of those who have successfully completed recovery programs. “It's all about giving our community members and our future a second chance,” Royall said.