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New “Stomp Out Stigma” Day at the 2018 Great New York State Fair Supports the Fight Against Addiction

Training in the Administration of NARCAN Available Every Day

Help in the fight against addiction takes center stage at the new Stomp Out Stigma Day, Friday, August 31 at the 2018 Great New York State Fair. The event coincides with International Overdose Awareness Day. The day will feature inspirational talks with former professional BMX rider Tony Hoffman, an information fair with support services, and free training sessions in the use of NARCAN. In addition, the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) will offer free NARCAN training on ten other days during the Fair.

“The Fair and its partners offer many services, from helping people check for unclaimed funds to offering assistance with some of life’s most serious crises. We’re very pleased to partner with the Madison County Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (MCCASA) and OASAS on this event and hope that we are able to link people to the help they need to improve the lives of people fighting substance abuse,” said Troy Waffner, Acting Fair Director.

“Stigma is defined as a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person. The Central Region Addiction Resource Center, a program at MCCASA, wants people & families struggling with Substance Use Disorders to feel supported and know that there are services available to them. We are thrilled to be partnering with the New York State Fair to share this message of hope & recovery for all,” said Lauren Davie, Project Coordinator, Central Region Addiction Resource Center.

“Addiction is a disease that affects members of every community, regardless of age, gender, or other factors, and it is important that people know that help is available, and recovery is possible,” said OASAS Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez. “New York State is working tirelessly to end the stigma against addiction and treatment, and get people access to the help they need to rebuild their lives.

The Aug. 31 event features an Information Fair at Chevy Court from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Expert providers from several service organizations will be on hand to offer guidance and support. Racer Matt Janczuk of Durhamville, a five-time track champion at Utica-Rome Speedway and a police sergeant in Hamilton, will bring his race car for young people to sign. He and his car will participate in the Fair Parade at 6 p.m.

The Pavilion will also feature an art project asking people their reasons for living lives free of substance abuse.  Pictures from the project will be used to create a mural that will be displayed at events throughout the year. Parents can also explore a mock teenager’s bedroom, where they can see items that can be used in addiction or may indicate that a child is engaging in risky behavior.

Tony Hoffman will talk about the choices young people can make and how those choices can change their lives. His talks are scheduled for 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. in the Empire Theater of the Wegmans Art & Home Center. Hoffman is a top BMX pro and coach whose success came after a prison stint for a crime fueled by his drug abuse. Sober since 2007, Hoffman has dedicated his life to raising awareness of the dangers of prescription and heroin abuse as well as advocating a shift in thinking about how society thinks about addiction and recovery.

Three training sessions will take place in the Empire Room for people interested in knowing how and when to use NARCAN, a drug used to block the effects of opiates and reverse an opiate overdose. The training sessions take place at 11:30, 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. In addition, the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services will provide free NARCAN training at its booth in the Science and Industry Building at the following dates and times:

  • Wednesday, August 22:  11 a.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, August 23:  11 a.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Friday, August 24: 11 a.m.
  • Saturday, August 25: 7 p.m.
  • Monday, August 27: 11 a.m.
  • Tuesday, August 28:  11 a.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, August 29:  11 a.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, August 30:  11 a.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Sunday, September 2:  11 a.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Monday, September 3:  11 a.m. and 7 p.m.

This initiative builds on Governor Cuomo’s innovative multi-pronged approach to address the opioid epidemic by expanding and enhancing services including treatment facilities, recovery centers, youth clubhouses, Health Hubs, and regional addiction resource centers, which provide services and information in a stigma free and supportive environment. The Governor has expanded the range of services and supports aimed at harm reduction and has launched targeted initiatives to enhance access to life-saving addiction medication. Other recovery supports include investments in Certified Recovery Peer Advocates and recovery coaches. These efforts have led to the creation of the largest recovery support network in the country.

Additionally, under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York State has developed one of the most comprehensive opioid overdose prevention programs in the country. Over 300,000 individuals have been trained on opioid overdose prevention and equipped with naloxone, the medication used to reverse an overdose. The Governor has also changed the insurance laws to make immediate access to all addiction treatment a reality in New York State, and has taken action to crack down on patient brokering. To learn more about services in your region, click here.

New Yorkers struggling with an addiction, or whose loved ones are struggling, can find help and hope by calling the state’s toll-free, 24-hour, 7-day-a-week HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY (1-877-846-7369) or by texting HOPENY (Short Code 467369).

The New York State Fair, operated by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, runs from August 22 to September 3, 2018. The Fair’s mission, reflected in its theme, “FIND YOUR GREAT,” is to showcase the best of New York agriculture while providing top-quality entertainment.

The home of the Great New York State Fair is a 375-acre exhibit and entertainment complex that operates all year. A year-round schedule of events is available on the Fair’s website. Find The Great New York State Fair on Facebook, follow @NYSFair on Twitter, on Snapchat at nysfair and enjoy photos from the Fair at Flickr.com/photos/nysfair. Also, New Yorkers are invited to send their ideas for the Great New York State Fair at statefairideas@agriculture.ny.gov.




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