Knowledge is power. Last week, I had the opportunity to attend a public forum organized by the town of Falmouth about the drug epidemic and its effects on their community. After an excellent overview of the problem, people gathered in groups to discuss the town’s goals and ideas on how to accomplish them. Unfortunately, I did not see many parents, students or businesses leaders, who may be the best target for education, at the forum.

On Thursday, at the WCHP Lecture Hall on the University of New England’s Portland campus, there will be a free screening of the outstanding PBS/NOVA film “Addiction” from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Following the 55-minute film, the audience will have the ability to question an esteemed panel of experts, including someone in recovery from opioid use disorder after having been prescribed them for a back injury.

In addition, the audience will hear from therapists who specialize in helping people with substance use disorder, how it affects the family and the shame and stigma that follow this disease. Most importantly, people will have the ability to ask about prevention, how to talk with their children, evidence-based treatments and harm-reduction strategies that have been proven to help those who are suffering.

This is an important event that starts the conversations we all need to have about the drug epidemic that is killing our children, relatives, friends and co-workers at a rate of more than one per day. Knowledge is power, knowledge saves lives.

For more information, visit

Glenn J. Simpson

program coordinator, Dignity for Opiate Users


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