Bob MacKenzie
Chief of Police, Town of Kennebunk
Member, Rotary Club of Kennebunk
In 2021 more than 107,000 Americans, beloved family members, friends, co-workers, and community members died from a drug-related overdose or SUD (Substance Use Disorder). Overdose fatalities are climbing across the country in record numbers.  Maine and New Hampshire are not immune to these deaths and we are losing our loved ones, friends, and neighbors at a record pace. Maine, with 636 deaths, ranked 11th in the United States out of the 50 states.  New Hampshire, with 425 deaths in 2021 did better, but any death from an overdose is a tragedy. We need all hands on deck! 
To address this ongoing public health crisis and hurtful epidemic, our Rotary District, comprising 39 clubs in southern Maine and New Hampshire will host an all-day (8 AM-4 PM) conference on Thursday, September 8, 2022, highlighting recovery success stories and asking and trying to answer the critical question: “What can you do to save lives?”
The cost to attend this meeting will be $25.00 and will take place in Eliot, Maine at the Regatta Banquette & Conference Center. Our conference encourages the attendance of our district’s business, community, and civic leaders but we especially welcome volunteers and retirees from our Rotary family who wish to learn more about reducing the terrible stigma of SUD. This will be accomplished in part by hearing from individuals in Recovery who, despite past struggles with SUD and co-occurring behavioral health challenges, have managed to find success today in a supportive environment.  
In addition to the panel featuring individuals who will share more about their recovery journey, we will host a panel of business and community leaders who have taken actions to support and employ those in recovery. They will share more about how creating a Recovery Ready culture and reducing stigma is a “win-win opportunity” for both employees and businesses.
Presentations from known keynote speakers from business and government;  Rotarians who are working with middle school youngsters to identify personal awareness of stigma brought on by SUD; and a luncheon with table hosts to facilitate conversation, will all round out our meeting. Information on Naloxone training and free Naloxone for those already trained will be available at the meeting’s conclusion.
This conference is open to all Rotarians, business/community leaders, and anyone with an interest in recovery. Please join us if you can and please pass this on to any & all in your circle of influence as it can help save a life.