The Village of Niles’ “Engage” program, which offers substance abuse support and community education, has joined communities nationwide in recognizing August as National Overdose Awareness Month and September as National Recovery Month. Engage has collaborated with the Park Ridge Opioid Task Force, Maine Township and Maine Community Youth Assistance Foundation for the ‘One Pill Can Kill’ community education campaign. Community leaders and businesses have taken part by posing in front of the “Fentanyl Is Fatal, One Pill Can Kill” lawn signs that have been placed at public buildings and in high-traffic areas in the northern suburbs to spread awareness of the opioid crisis.
The awareness campaign will culminate in a community presentation, “What Parents Need to Know about Opioids and Fentanyl” on September 27 at Maine Township Town Hall. The event will feature leaders from the medical community, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and Senator Laura Murphy. The Engage program will be sponsoring a trailer that provides a walkthrough of a mockup bedroom, where experts will guide parents where to look for drugs or drug paraphernalia in youths’ bedrooms.
“With over 247,000 Americans dying from addiction and alcoholism in 2022, we need to step up as a community and offer support,” said Niles Mayor George D. Alpogianis. “You cannot cure alcoholism or addiction, but you can treat it. I believe a great part of the treatment for addiction is community. Niles is building a supportive community of families, young adults and first responders.”
Year-round, Engage works to support and serve the recovery community within Niles. The Village of Niles’ Family Services Department hosts weekly recovery meetings on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The Engage program also sponsors monthly recovery community outings, which have most recently included a Chicago Dogs baseball game and “The Road Dog” movie premiere, along with offering case management and crisis services to residents in recovery. These events allow the community to build fellowship and enjoy sober fun.
“Having effective supports are integral to any healthy community, and Niles Family Services and the Engage Program work diligently to make Niles a leader in community-based support that leads to long-term success in recovery,” said Darren Brown, Director of Niles Family Services.
For Recovery Month, the Village of Niles’ Leaning Tower will be lit purple on September 30 in honor and recognition of our recovery community.
Residents seeking more information about the Engage program and other assistance from Niles Family Services can call (847) 588-8460.
View this Press Release as a PDF