Responding to the recent rise in heroin overdoses on Cape Cod, members of the planning committee for the Mashpee High School Family Wellness Conference decided to shift the event’s focus to addiction.
The event, which was scheduled for January 21 and postponed to March 4 due to snow, was originally intended to provide resources to families for issues that affect teens from stress to substance abuse. However, after a recent discussion with others involved in the event regarding local issues of heroin addiction and overdoses, Mashpee High School psychologist Peter M. Shea said that they decided a more narrowed focus on addiction was critical.
Beginning at 5:30 PM at Mashpee High School, the conference will offer a free spaghetti dinner followed by an introduction of the Mashpee Cares community support group and the Mashpee drug return program by selectman Michael R. Richardson.
Afterward, a discussion titled “Heroin Epidemic—The Overdose of Cape Cod” on addiction and the prevention and treatment of prescription drug abuse will be presented by four key speakers: Michael P. Jackman, a district representative for Congressman William R. Keating; state Representative Randy Hunt of Sandwich; Raymond V. Tamasi, president and CEO of Gosnold; and Gosnold interventionist Kristoph Pydynkowski.
“I believe the Prescription Drug issue is a perfect fit,” Mr. Shea said in an e-mail correspondence with school administrators and participating speakers. “This topic is current and global in nature and touches all populations regardless of age, race, education or economic status.”
Also attending the conference will be members of Parent to Parent, a support group for parents of addicted children, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Cape Cod, and Gosnold board of directors member Dr. Michael Bihari.
At the end of the conference, speakers will be available to answer questions.