A forum focused on the region’s ongoing opiate crisis is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday evening at Pittston Consolidated School. Those attending the forum will hear from a mix of town and school officials, police officers and substance abuse specialists.

Monday’s talk will be geared toward residents in the Pittston and Randolph area. It has been organized by Pittston Selectman Greg Lumbert, who is also a Kennebec County deputy sheriff.

Several other similar presentations have been held across the state in the last few months, each trying to get a community involved in what has become a critical health and law enforcement issue, both here and nationwide.

Statewide, drug overdose deaths increased by 31 percent in 2015, reaching a high of 272 fatalities, fueled by a near-doubling of heroin deaths, according to data released earlier this year by the state attorney general’s office.

In 2015, Kennebec County had 33 overdose deaths, up 65 percent from 20 in 2014.

Clinical psychologist Fred White and Holly Kiidli, a coordinator with Health Communities of the Capital Area, will speak Monday.

Representatives from Pittston Consolidated School will deliver a 15-minute presentation on how drugs are affecting local students.

Kennebec County Sheriff Ryan Reardon will deliver a presentation that he normally gives to fellow police officers about identifying drug use in the community, but that will be geared more toward the residents in the audience.

The event is expected to last about two hours, and the public will have a chance to comment and ask questions.


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