Health coalition seeking information on substance abuse

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RUMFORD – Patty Duguay, director of the River Valley Healthy Communities Coalition, announced Thursday afternoon that the substance abuse prevention group is looking for a list of residents to participate in anonymous, one-on-one interviews to discuss substance abuse in the community.

Duguay’s announcement came during the coalition’s monthly community network meeting at the Rumford Public Library with several other organizations in the area.

“We’re looking for the members of our prevention group to come up with a list of five names each of residents who may be interested in participating in an interview,” Duguay said. “We already have people set aside who will do the interviewing. Now, we just need the people.”

According to Duguay, the coalition is attempting to apply for a grant but needs more information about the prevalence of substance abuse before it does.

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“Hopefully, with the interviews, we can put some meat into our proposal for the grant,” Duguay said.

Duguay said the tone of the interview would be “conversational, rather than asking questions off of a checklist” and it “would only require 20 minutes of their time.”

In other business, Hope Association Executive Director Catherine Johnson updated the coalition on events her group will be hosting in the near future. They include the annual snowmobile Ride-In, where community members bring their snowmobiles and give rides to the clients of the Hope Association, and a presentation on autism on Feb. 27 by Aimee Cecile-DesRoches, who works at the Maine Autism Society.

Coalition member Carol Emery announced that Rumford Hospital will host Heart to Heart on Feb. 23.

“We’ll be focusing on how people can improve their health to avoid heart-related problems,” she explained.

Diane Gallagher, who works with Safe Voices, announced the group will meet from 9 to 11 a.m. Feb. 6 at the Mexico Police Department to discuss domestic violence. She said a speaker from the Rumford Police Department may attend.

The next community network meeting for the River Valley Healthy Communities Coalition will be Feb. 26.

mdaigle@sunjournal.com

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