METHUEN -- Mayor Stephen N. Zanni and Chief Joseph Solomon are pleased to report that the Methuen Police Department hosted a series of events as part of National Recovery Month this weekend.
The events, all of which were hosted in conjunction with the Community Addiction Resources Engagement Services (C.A.R.E.S) team, sought to raise awareness, reduce stigma, and celebrate individuals in recovery. C.A.R.E.S is a community outreach initiative within the police department designed to assist individuals, families and friends with the tools they need to fight the disease of addiction.
On Friday, Sept. 23, the C.A.R.E.S. team hosted a candle light vigil at Raymond J. Martin Riverside Park (971 Riverside Drive) to honor those who have died as a result of addiction. Over 70 community members attended the event, where loved ones shared their stories of how addiction has impacted their lives and held a candlelight vigil to commemorate the memory of loved ones.
On Saturday, Sept. 24, the Merrimack Valley Prevention and Substance Abuse Project (MVPASAP) held their third annual Community Forum at the Timony Grammar School (45 Pleasant View St.). The event featured speakers and presentations focusing on prevention, education and advocacy, where the Methuen C.A.R.E.S team put up a table to provide resources and outreach and the department provided refreshments. Over 150 people attended the event.
On Sunday, Sept. 25, the C.A.R.E.S team hosted their first "Recovery Walk" at The Loop (90 Pleasant Valley St.). Co-hosted by The Loop, the event included live bands, games, and guest speakers. In addition, vendors and community organizations provided resources and education to those with loved ones suffering from the disease of addiction. Over 200 community members participated in the walk.
"The City of Methuen came together this weekend to tackle the disease affecting our community and loved ones in many different ways," Mayor Zanni said. "Through a collaboration of various community organizations, hundreds of residents received support, education, and resources to help fight both the disease and stigma surrounding addiction."
"We are not only fighting to keep drugs off our streets, but also fighting to end the stigma surrounding drug addiction," Chief Solomon said. "This is an epidemic - on local, state, and national levels - and I commend our officers for doing their part to engage with the community on such an important issue."