ROCKLAND, Maine — A community forum has been scheduled for next week to discuss ways to deal with a heroin and opiate abuse problem that is claiming the lives of young people.
The forum was scheduled prior to the two deaths this month from suspected opiate overdoses. A 19-year-old Thomaston woman died Sunday morning at a Rockland motel and a 38-year-old man died Jan. 12 at his residence on Summer Street.
The gathering is being sponsored by the Knox County Community Health Coalition and the Maine Opiate Collaborative.
Rockland police Sgt. Donald Finnegan, Dr. Ira Mandel, Rockland Assistant City Manager/Community Director Audra Caler-Bell, Kelsey Arsenault from the Health Coalition, and a person in recovery from heroin and opiate abuse will be on a panel that will offer comments at the start of the forum.
Information from the event will be shared with the Maine Opiate Collaborative, which was created by U.S. Attorney for Maine Thomas Delahanty in an effort to identify and address the causes of opiate abuse and to propose solutions, according to the organization’s website.
“The crisis we face is not just a crime problem. It is a community public health problem with no simple answers,” according to the collaborative’s mission statement.
The Rockland forum is scheduled for 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4, at City Hall, 270 Pleasant St.