A day-long educational event is being held this weekend to help parents and others learn more about opioid abuse and the signs of addiction.
Local attorney Tom Schimmerling has partnered with Truth Pharm to present A Day of Drug and Suicide Awareness and Intervention.
There will be presentations on opioid and heroin addiction and recovery as well as training on how to handle those at risk of committing suicide.
Truth Pharm provides awareness, education and advocacy around the heroin crisis.
Founder Alexis Pleus lost her son to a heroin overdose.
“We more often get messages from families saying, ‘I just learned that my loved one is addicted and I had no idea,’ than the parents who say ‘I suspected all along.’ So, it’s one of those things. My son is a great example that he was able to keep his addiction a secret for 7 years,” said Pleus.
Schimmerling says that when he was a young adult, he did not know of anyone who used heroin or abused prescription painkillers.
“For some reason, it has now caught on. I think it’s because of all the people getting hooked on pain medication, it usually starts that way with pain medication. It’s just the most horrible thing. I thought, ‘Is there some little thing that I can do as a citizen to try and help the situation?'” he said.
The event also includes an interactive mock bedroom called Shawna has a Secret.
The free event takes place at the DoubleTree Hotel in Binghamton Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.