Some 650 Crown Heights residents attended Operation Survival’s drug awareness and prevention event on Sunday evening Jan 8th. The event served as an opportunity to highlight the need for prevention strategies and an increased awareness and understanding of the drug problem in the community.
The packed program included a wide variety of featured speakers. Mr. Yehuda Benjamin, a Crown Heights resident, spoke about losing his son Kazi OBM to an overdose. He emphasized the importance of assisting those struggling with addiction and eliminating the shame and stigma that so often accompanies families experiencing any form of addiction.
The evening’s guest speakers were Dr. Brad Reedy, a nationally renowned expert on parenting teens who discussed how to talk about drugs with your kids, Lewis J. Abrams, an addictions counselor who spoke about the signs and symptoms of addiction. In a visually memorable presentation, Dr. Eli Rosen, depicted the dangers of opioid overdose and how it is affecting our community. NYPD Inspector Joseph M. Gulotta, Commanding Officer 67th Precinct, also spoke about the importance of local policing and immediate reporting of any suspected drug dealers.
Following the presentations, there was a question and answer session moderated by Rabbi Shea Hecht.
Several organization including Amudim, MASK, Jewish Board of Family Services and Interborough had tables with informational brochures as well as having staff on hand to answer questions about their services.