Registration is still open for an upcoming event that aims to bring awareness how addiction and overdoses affect the entire community. Project Opiate will hold an all-day forum Friday, August 31st, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Brighton in recognition of International Overdose Awareness Day.

Francine Zysk, 53rd District Court Administrator and co-founder of Project Opiate, says the community event will feature presentations from law enforcement, a school resource officer, a former member of a federal drug unit, and a specialist discussing addiction in the brain. The event’s keynote speaker will be former NFL player Randy Grimes of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who now works for a treatment center and is a proponent for athletes in recovery. The afternoon segment will include a panel focused on recovery and presentations from families who have lost a loved one to the drug epidemic. The day will conclude with a candlelight vigil at the Brighton Mill Pond in memory of those who have lost their battle with addiction.

Zysk says this is the second year Project Opiate has held this event and that the goal this year was to utilize various components to depict how addiction and overdoses affect everyone. She says they are aiming to show how all can have a role in working together to recognize the reality of the situation and how to combat it. She notes the Brighton Police Department has been instrumental in helping procure many of the speakers and appreciates their support.

Sessions the day of begin at 9am and conclude at 4pm. Project Opiate’s event is open and free to the public, though the number of guests will be capped at 125 due to sponsored meals. Registration is open online and Zysk says there are seats still available. A link to register can be found below. (DK)