Chester County’s Department of Drug and Alcohol Services announces Chester County’s participation in a “National Day of Remembrance” on January 29, 2017, a day honoring and remembering county residents who have fallen victim to the disease of addiction. On this day, Chester County will be joining communities across the nation, encouraging individuals and organizations to come together and remember those affected by the disease of addiction.
Activities taking place in Chester County throughout the weekend in honor of “National Day of Remembrance” include a moment of silence on Friday, January 27th at 9:30 a.m, and a memorial service on Sunday, January 29th hosted by Pennsylvania Recovery Organization-Achieving Community Together (PRO-ACT), at Cornerstone Christian Fellowship Church, 426 W Gay St in West Chester from 7:00pm-8:30pm. This service will include featured speakers, songs and a celebration of life and remembrance through the reading of names of those in Chester County lost to the disease.
“In 2015, 63 people died from drug overdose in Chester County, leaving behind devastated family and friends,” said Chester County Commissioners’ Chair Michelle Kichline. “With the sadness of these losses, comes the reminder that addiction is a disease that does not discriminate against age, race, gender or socioeconomic status.
“It’s estimated that currently, nearly 35,000 people in Chester County are suffering from some sort of substance use disorder,” added Commissioner Kichline. A Substance Use Disorder occurs when a person uses a substance such as alcohol or another drug, and the use results in physical, behavioral, or social problems at school, work or home.”
“Over time, substance use may lead to dependence, which means the person begins using the substance to function ‘normally’ in order to prevent them from going into withdrawal from that substance,” said Vince Brown, Executive Director of the Chester County Department of Drug and Alcohol Services. “Withdrawal is the group of symptoms that can occur when a person has decreased use or is no longer using alcohol or any other drug after dependence has occurred. Alcohol or any other drug withdrawal can include emotional, physical, behavioral, or physiological symptoms, and, as we know all too well, can be life threatening.”
Chester County’s Department of Drug and Alcohol Services reminds residents that there are drug and alcohol treatment services and other resources available in the county. If you are concerned about yourself or a loved one, it is imperative that you seek help. If you have insurance, including Medicaid, please call the number listed on the back of your insurance card to get information on how to access drug and alcohol services. If you do not have insurance, please call one of the following agencies for help:
If you have further questions, or need additional resources, please log onto the Chester County Department of Drug and Alcohol Services website. You can also call the Chester County Information and Referral line at: 866-286-3767.
Photo Caption: Banner signed by participants of the Chester County Color 5K walk/run held in West Chester last November, to remember and honor family and friends who are still battling the disease of addiction in Chester County. The banner will be on display at the Chester County Government Services Center located at 601 Westtown Road in West Chester as part of the National Day of Remembrance events.