By Seth Facey
Granite State News Collaborative
Community Action for Safe Teens (CAST) is holding a community conversation on mental health and substance abuse on January 8th from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at the Boys and Girls Club of Souhegan Valley. A NARCAN training will also be provided to attendees. The community conversation is for 18 to 21 year olds who live in the Souhegan Valley area.
CAST is working to combat the pressing issue of the opioid crisis and are “focused on solutions” in solving the problems of addiction. The young adult listening session will include a dissection and discussion of the data collected from the 2017 Youth Risk and Behavior Survey from 2017 and 2018. The session will “look for root causes and local conditions” in terms of statistics on drug and alcohol use in the Souhegan Valley.
The community conversation is open to young adults who live in the Souehgan Valley area and that are between the ages of 18 to 21 years old. During the forum, there will be time for the community members to share their experiences and thoughts on drugs and alcohol in high school.
Monica Gallant, director Prevention Services at the Boys and Girls Club of Souhegan Valley said, “we’re looking at underage drinking, prescription drug misuse, marijuana use, and vaping and asking them why it’s here, why are kids using it, and then why here, what are the specific reasons?”
Additionally, there will also be training on how to administer NARCAN which is a nasal spray that can be “used for the treatment of an opioid emergency or a possible opioid overdose with signs of breathing problems and severe sleepiness or not being able to respond.” CAST will provide the trainees with NARCAN to have in the case of an emergency.
Jace Troie, CAST Coalition Coordinator, said, “we are looking forward to holding a high school community conversation for teenagers in the near future.” Troie emphasized that “we really need their voices” and to “tell them that we’ll have pizza” at the listening session on January 8th.