Clarkstown HS hosts forum to combat opioid abuse

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CLARKSTOWN -

Clarkstown High School hosted a forum to combat opioid abuse Thursday night.

Dana Krengel, a reintegration counselor at the Bridges substance abuse and recovery center, was a featured speaker.

"I welcome people to be broken," she says. "I welcome their brokenness. I welcome their bottoms. Because their bottoms lead to change."

She's also an addict herself, whose recovery is a daily struggle.

"I am in recovery," she says. "And I've been sober eight years."

It took her a lot of courage to say that publicly because she works with Rockland District Attorney Tom Zugibe, who until the event Thursday night had no idea.

"It shouldn't be hard for me to say I'm in recovery," she says. "It's the fear that some consequence will come from being in recovery."

Officials invited Rockland County residents to attend the free event in hopes that they could pick up some potentially lifesaving tips and support.

"Sixty-four thousand people lost their lives last year to an opioid overdose," says state Sen. David Carlucci. "It's a trend that we see not turning back anytime soon."

Carlucci acknowledged those numbers are staggering -- but professionals brought up another big number: 900. They say there are more than 900 addiction treatment centers and support groups statewide.

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