Opioid event highlights prevention, treatment, recovery

Molloy-hosted symposium a response to nationwide epidemic


In response to the increased abuse of prescription drugs and heroin on Long Island in recent years, Mercy Medical Center, along with the Rockville Centre Coalition for Youth and the Friends of Mercy, presented an opioid symposium last Saturday at Molloy College’s Hays Theater.

The dozens of attendees at the event — titled Long Island’s Opioid Addiction Epidemic: A Discussion With the Community on Recovery, Prevention and Treatment — received information about support and treatment options, heard from a recovering addict and learned new terminology and trends.

“Our expectation was to deliver a message of hope, that help is available,” said Dr. David Flomenhaft, director of Mercy Medical Center’s Behavioral Health Services.

Speakers, including Reisa Berg, the symposium’s keynote speaker and former director of education and prevention at the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, discussed how to identify a substance use disorder and highlighted the resources available to those struggling. Long Island groups and organizations set up tables with information about prevention, treatment and recovery.

“This is a critical time when the loss of life is reaching epidemic proportions,” Flomenhaft said, “and it’s imperative on the health care community to provide tangible information and resources to the public so they can seek help for themselves and their loved ones.”