Combating substance abuse: Community forum set for Oct. 16

Three Syracuse-area school districts are teaming up with local agencies to spread awareness and help educate community members about substance abuse and addiction.

On Oct. 16, Eastside Coalition of Schools, which includes East Syracuse Minoa, Jamesville-Dewitt and Fayetteville-Manlius school districts, is partnering with Heroin Epidemic Action League of Onondaga County (H.E.A.L.) and other local organizations to present “HEALing Together,” a free community engagement forum for parents, guardians and residents.

The main program, which begins at 6 p.m. at East Syracuse Minoa High School, will feature five sessions focusing on topics such as school safety, addiction and mental wellness. Participants will rotate through the 20-minute meetings, which will be led by medical professionals, addiction recovery specialists, and law enforcement officials.

As part of the forum, Prevention Network of Central New York will present its program “Hidden Mischief” – an interactive display that helps parents and guardians identify where and how children could hide or conceal alcohol and other substances in a bedroom and similar spaces.

An expo featuring various community organizations, including Helio Health, Belvedere Addiction Services, Prevention Network of Central New York and H.E.A.L. will be held prior to the forum, beginning at 5:45 p.m.

The event is open to parents, guardians and community members and is being sponsored by H.E.A.L., Prevention Network of CNY, North Area Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Inc. (NAVAC) and Camillus Police Department are sponsoring the event.

ESM High School is located at 6400 Fremont Road, East Syracuse.