Theeffect Launches First Friday: Alcohol and Drug Awareness Forum on September 7th

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Hosted by Theeffect, a recovery community located in San Juan Capistrano, California, First Friday will be an ongoing forum featuring guest speakers and panelists from various walks of life. The aim of this forum will be to raise awareness and provide resources needed to help families deal with substance abuse issues.

“With the current epidemic of both street and prescription drug abuse, young adults ages 18-26 are most at risk, dying of overdose at rates estimated to be as high as every 19 minutes in this country” Dave Brisbin, Executive Director of theeffect.

Focused primarily on parents and relatives of young addicts, theeffect, a recovery community based in San Juan Capistrano, is launching a monthly series of forums to provide the awareness, information, and resources needed to help families treat the substance abuse issues they are facing or to prevent them from occurring.

theeffect’s First Friday is an ongoing series of drug awareness forums to be held on the first Friday of each month at 7 p.m. Forums will feature speakers and panels consisting of treatment professionals, law enforcement and health agency representatives, social and political advocates, educators, parents of addicts, and addicts themselves. Through them, parents, family, friends, and interested parties will be armed with the information and resources needed to deal with the ongoing or potential addiction problems of those they love.

“With the current epidemic of both street and prescription drug abuse, young adults ages 18-26 are most at risk, dying of overdose at rates estimated to be as high as every 19 minutes in this country” said Dave Brisbin, Executive Director of theeffect.

First Friday’s initial forum, scheduled for September 7, will feature a panel of speakers including Vernon Porter from Laguna Niguel, who lost his daughter to an overdose of the prescription drug Opana. Porter has become a dedicated advocate for policy change at both the national and California state levels, especially in the area of non-conforming prescription drug abuse. He recently returned from Washington D.C. after testifying before a Senate hearing on drug abuse issues at the request of Senator Diane Feinstein. Also presenting that evening will be Della Lisi Kerr of the O.C. Healthcare Agency, and Greg Chastain, Pastor and Addiction Counselor. They will discuss the overall scope of the drug epidemic including policy issues, the drug supply chain, AB472 [the Good Samaritan bill], the flood of non-conforming prescription drugs, and the elements of a prevention toolkit for parental intervention.

"The damages to families after such a tragic loss of a loved one are far reaching. I come in contact with so many whose lives are changed forever. The first year after losing Vanessa just trying to force my lungs to breathe was an accomplishment in itself," said Porter, Keynote Speaker September 7.

"I am pleased to support the First Friday Forum to let families and the community know the consequences and unbelievable costs to our country. This is not hyperbole, we have a major epidemic."

theeffect is a 501c3, a non-profit organization that has been operating in South Orange County since 2007 as a faith-based recovery community with the mission of providing ongoing treatment and support for those suffering from both substance and process addictions. Hundreds of people each week attend AA, NA, and Al-Anon meetings, worship gatherings, studies and workshops, food banks, and social events at theeffect’s facility as part of the essential community aspect of recovery. Many others seek treatment in the form of clinical and pastoral counseling from licensed therapists, recovery specialists and board-certified pastoral counselors. Full day treatment and intensive outpatient programs are also available through theeffect’s Encompass Recovery outpatient center on the same premises.

With the launch of First Friday and Vanessa’s Fund, a new scholarship fund named for Vernon Porter’s daughter, Vanessa, theeffect is launching a third area of outreach to those who need the information and resources to begin to address the problems they face within their families.

First Friday forums will be held at theeffect, 27122A Paseo Espada, Suite 904, San Juan Capistrano, beginning at 7 p.m. Subsequent dates for the rest of 2012 are October 5, November 2, and December 7.

For additional information or to schedule an interview, please contact Philip Pierson at 949.683.4445 or Dave Brisbin at 949.293.4259.

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