Community event brings awareness to growing opioid epidemic

Hampden County

RUSSELL, Mass. (WWLP) – A free community event was held in Russell Saturday afternoon to bring awareness to the growing opioid epidemic.

Baystate Noble Hospital hosted the “Overcoming Obstacles of the Opioid Crisis” community event at Strathmore Park.

Those in recovery, seeking recovery or family and friends with loved ones who battle with opioid use were invited to the event.

Dozens came out for interactive family-focused activities, food and entertainment. Guests also learned how to save a life during a free Narcan training.

“People can overdose almost anywhere; public bathrooms, parks. You never know when you’ll need it,” Mental Health clinician, Dallas Pilecki told 22News. “That’s why it’s important to have this event. That’s one of the takeaways.”

Kirk Jonah, a father that lost his son to a heroin overdose, spoke at the event about his determination to help raise awareness about the opioid epidemic.

Saturday’s event was made possible by a $50,000 earmarked grant Baystate Noble Hospital received to put towards opioid education.

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