Opioid Awareness and Prevention Day at Fairfield University — November 7

NORWALK, Conn. – This is a press release, presented in the format in which it was sent:

Fairfield University recognized as a leader statewide, receives $10,000 grant for opioid awareness and education initiatives

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (October 22, 2017)—Fairfield University’s Counseling and Psychological Services has received a $10,000 grant for opioid awareness initiatives as part of the Statewide Healthy Campus Initiative, launched by the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, “Drug overdose deaths in the United States more than tripled from 1999 to 2015,” and the Police Executive Research Forum reported that in 2016, “nearly as many people died from opioid overdoses as all U.S. fatalities during the entire course of the Vietnam War.”

On November 7, Fairfield University’s Counseling and Psychological Services, Collegiate Recovery Program, Fairfield University Student Association (FUSA), Campus Ministry, the Student Health Center, and the Dean of Students office will co-sponsor an Opioid Awareness and Prevention Day, to highlight the national crisis with activities and education to heighten prevention as well as increase access to treatment and recovery. The theme for the day will be “Everyone Knows Someone.”

“Fairfield University’s Opioid Awareness Day is intended to raise awareness about the national public health and public safety crisis, and the dangers of substance abuse, especially mixing alcohol with drugs,” said Assistant Vice President and Director of Counseling and Psychological Services, Susan Birge, EdD, MS, LPC. “Last year in Connecticut, 917 individuals lost their lives to fatal overdose. According to Connecticut Medical Examiner Dr. James Gill, the projection for overdose deaths in 2017 is 1,078, an 18 percent increase over last year. Through its Collegiate Recovery Program, which has been recognized as a model, Fairfield University offers excellent student resources and support for substance abuse and addiction.”

Fairfield University’s Campus Opioid Education and Awareness Program will focus on:

  • Increasing awareness of the potential for fatal overdose.
  • Increasing access to treatment through education about the availability of resources on campus.
  • Informing the campus community of the availability of Narcan on campus to save lives. All public safety and Health Center employees have been trained to administer Narcan.
  • Highlighting the value of a Collegiate Recovery Program, which pairs education with recovery.

To remember all of those who died of overdose deaths in Connecticut last year, 917 purple flags will be placed on the campus’ traffic circle.

Narcan Awareness

Public Safety Narcan Demonstration

12 p.m. & 5 p.m., Barone Campus Center

Information Booths

1-3 p.m., Dolan School of Business

3-5 p.m., RecPlex

Campus Ministry Vigil

6:30 p.m., Traffic Circle

If They Had Known Documentary and Panel Discussion

7 p.m., Aloysius P. Kelley Center

The documentary is about the fatal overdose of a University of Denver sophomore and the tragic risks of today’s party culture.

Established in 2004, the Statewide Healthy Campus Initiative was created by the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services in partnership with twenty-five institutions of higher education. The initiative has joined senior administrators and faculty from Connecticut institutions of higher education, prevention experts, and college students in a discussion focusing on changing the campus and community environment to decrease high-risk alcohol and other drug use and the implementation of effective prevention strategies.

As part of Fairfield University’s ongoing efforts to educate the community both locally and statewide about the opioid abuse crisis, the Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies also recently joined U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal in hosting an Opioid Prescribers Panel Discussion about Best Practices for Prescribers —What’s Working Now? The panel focused on combatting prescription drug and opioid abuse across the U.S.


This press release was posted as a public service. A press release is a written announcement submitted to news organizations to publicize an event or activity, a milestone or a point of view. NancyOnNorwalk has not researched the assertions made and takes no responsibility for the content.

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