Following the death of four Granby residents, a Simsbury nonprofit is conducting a study to see what types of programs and services are needed to support those battling substance use disorders.
Lisa Gray is leading the effort with her nonprofit called "A Promise to Jordan."
"I started it back in July of 2018 after having lost my then 24-year-old first-born son Jordan to a fentanyl overdose inside a family minivan in the driveway of our home," Gray said.
"As I said goodbye to him that afternoon in the driveway of our home, I did make a promise to him to continue fighting to save other individuals and families by the devastation that's brought on by the disease of addiction," she continued.
The nonprofit is beginning a study starting on Aug. 23. They will host in-person and virtual focus groups of no more than 12 people coping with addiction. They will be able to discuss their struggles and the services they need to break free from substance abuse.
Private meetings may also be arranged for those who wish to remain anonymous.
"It could be alcohol use disorder. Many people don't think about the people who struggle with a substance abuse disorder who end up taking their own lives because they see no other way out from this disease," Gray said.
"The problem of substance use disorders are happening everywhere across the U.S. in every community, not just in large communities like Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport," Gray said.
According to Gray, if alcohol and tobacco use are included in substance use disorders, over 60% of Americans aged 12 or older are struggling with addiction. If that percentage is true, that means more than 7,000 Granby residents are living or recovering from substance use disorders.
"It's a huge problem that not enough attention is being paid to so we want to try to help those residents in Granby who are living with substance use disorders or their family members are," Gray said. "Or just your average child who is just very curious and wants to try things and they don't realize what kind of trouble they can get into."
The study is funded by the Pomeroy-Brace Fund of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.
If you're from Granby and have an addiction and would like to take part in the study, in-person focus groups will be held at Farmington Valley YMCA on Aug. 23, Sept. 1, Sept. 8, and Sept. 15, and virtual focus groups will be offered on Sept. 7 and Sept. 17.
Private meetings may also be arranged for those who wish to remain anonymous. Anyone interested in participating should contact A Promise to Jordan at email@example.com or (860) 390-1391.
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