County exec announces substance use forum

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and the Rockefeller Institute of Government recently announced “Stories from Suffolk,” a policy conversation among leading experts in the field of substance use and opioids to assess what next steps should be taken to combat this epidemic. The first-of-its-kind forum will be held on Feb. 6 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Kimisis Tis Theotokou Church in Southampton.

“County governments are the laboratories for developing smart public policy to combat the opioid crisis in New York,” said Bellone.  “This forum will bring together leading experts in the field to share their experiences and discuss next steps in addressing this epidemic.”

The event will convene leading experts across New York State including medical providers, academic scholars, community advocates, faith leaders, state officials, local law enforcement and criminal justice advocates. The program will consist of two separate panels: prevention methods and honing in on treatment and recovery options. With a focus on large-scale suburban counties, the event is modeled off the “Stories from Sullivan” series, which shines a light into how rural upstate New York communities are addressing the opioid crisis.

The keynote address will be delivered by Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy D. Sini, a national leader on developing innovative strategies and partnerships among law enforcement agencies.

“This forum will cover a broad range of topics, both about what has been accomplished so far and what the challenges are ahead,” said Sini. “We will be discussing everything from prevention and treatment opportunities to new technology and law enforcement strategies being employed to combat the opioid epidemic.”

Breakfast and registration will begin at 9 a.m. Dr. Jim Malatras, president of the Rockefeller Institute of Government, will provide opening remarks.

The Rockefeller Institute of Government is a public policy think tank that conducts cutting-edge research and analysis to inform lasting solutions to the problems facing New York State and the nation. Through rigorous, objective, and accessible analysis and outreach, the Institute provides citizens and governments facts and tools they need to make informed public decisions. 

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