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March 6, 2024

2024 National Forum on Overdose Fatality Review: Opioid Affected Youth Initiatives

Moderator: Carol P. Gordon, IIR

From Recommendation to Implementation: The Funding and Development of the Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, Drug Endangered Children (DEC) Alliance

The profound negative impact of parental drug and alcohol use and misuse, significant childhood trauma, and adolescent drug and alcohol use were some of the earliest trends, discussions, and recommendations of the Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, Overdose Fatality Review (OFR) Team. This presentation will discuss the OFR data that spurred and supported OFR recommendations surrounding the need for increased education and awareness of children impacted by parental drug and alcohol use and misuse, as well as ensuring that these youth are being properly identified and effectively linked to the resources and services they need. The partnership with the National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children (DEC) and multiyear pursuit of grants to fund this recommendation through the development of a proposed Lackawanna County DEC Alliance will be examined, as well as the first year of the implementation of this OFR recommendation-based initiative, which was successfully funded by an Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) Opioid Affected Youth grant in October 2022.

Camp FUN! Hancock County, Ohio’s Approach to Creating Connections for Youth Impacted by Addiction

In 2021, during a review of overdose fatalities in Hancock County, Ohio, it became evident that there was a significantly growing number of children and youth who were directly impacted by the overdose experience of a parent, close relative, or guardian. Knowing that family history of substance use is an indicator of future risk, community members rallied to create an opportunity for children and youth with this shared experience to gather and spend time together in a friendly, understanding, and nurturing environment—creating a unique space for prevention. This workshop will demonstrate how Hancock County created Camp FUN as a unique biannual experience for children and youth to simply be together, make connections, and find hope in a challenging world.

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