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Brief: Health Department to Offer Free Addiction Outreach

Beginning Thursday and throughout September, the V.I. Department of Health will hold a series of free, public lectures, and workshops on drug and alcohol addiction and recovery at Charles Harwood Complex on St. Croix.
A panel discussion incorporating this year’s theme, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Now More Than Ever,” and a series of workshops on substance abuse disorders will round out the list of activities, according to a statement from Health.
The timing of the discussions and lectures was prompted by National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month, observed annually in September, which honors people in recovery from substance disorders, as well as those who provide treatment and recovery services.
Health staff planned the month’s activities aiming to get out the message that substance use disorders are a treatable public health problem affecting everyone and to encourage people affected by addiction to seek treatment and recovery services so they can reclaim healthy and productive lives.
Federal data show that in 2008, 23.1 million people, ages 12 and older, needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol use problem, Health Commissioner Julia Sheen said in the statement.
“Sadly, there are many more nationally and in the Virgin Islands in need of treatment that are unable or unwilling to receive it for a variety of reasons,” Sheen said. “We urge residents to come to the Open House later this month and learn about the services available to them.”
Along with recovery programs for adults, preventing teen addiction is also a key priority for Health, according to Sheen.
Along those lines, earlier this year the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded Health $3.5 million in a State Incentive Grant, to be spent over a five-year period to help prevent substance abuse among pre-teens and teens.
Below is the month’s schedule of activities. For more information, call 773-1311 x 3023.

Sept. 9
9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Lecture Series (open to all): “Stress Management”
Charles Harwood Annex, Room 2026

Sept. 14
9 a.m. – 11 a.m. Lecture Series (women only): “Recovery and Spirituality”
Charles Harwood Annex, Room 2026

Sept. 16
9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Lecture Series: (open to all) “Matters of the Heart”
Charles Harwood Annex, Room 2026

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Sept. 17
10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Open House, Charles Harwood Annex

Sept. 21
9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Lecture Series (women only). “Next Steps After Recovery”
Charles Harwood Annex, Room 2026

Sept. 23
9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Lecture Series (open to all) “How Drugs and Alcohol Affect Your Heart.”

Sept. 28
9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Lecture Series (women only) Your Health And Recovery; Charles Harwood Annex, Room 2026

Sept. 29
9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Panel Discussion. “Now More Than Ever”
Charles Harwood Complex, First Floor, Room 1016

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