January 11, 2018
Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler delivered the keynote address at the United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region’s substance abuse prevention conference on January 11, hosted at Mount Saint Mary College.
A Community Conversation Around Substance Abuse Prevention, presented by The United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region and hosted at Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, N.Y., drew about 100 professionals from various fields on January 11.
Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler delivered the program’s keynote address.
Hoovler, a former police detective, said that Orange County is approaching substance abuse issues in the area through a three-part strategy: education, to help keep people away from drugs in the first place; the empowerment to seek treatment, to help people who are addicted; and enforcement, to attack the suppliers of illegal drugs before they can affect the community.
“This problem has to be solved from a multidisciplinary approach, where law enforcement is the last option: where when all else fails, we defer to law enforcement when someone is acting in a manner that endangers the community,” explained Hoovler. Increased drug prevention education in schools and addiction treatment “when a person is ready, willing, and able” can help keep the community safe and lower the need for law enforcement involvement, he said.
The program also consisted of a panel discussion on substance abuse prevention, involving several individuals leading the fight against substance abuse in the Mid-Hudson region. In addition to Hoovler, the panel consisted of: Jim Conklin, the executive director of The Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Council; Elaine Trumpetto, the executive director of The Council on Addiction Prevention and Education of Duchess County; Michele Tugade, associate professor at Vassar College; Susan Salomone, executive director of Drug Crisis in Our Backyard; Dean Scher, Catholic Charities Community Services of Orange and Sullivan Counties; and Tammy Rhein, the director of Chemic Dependency/Adult Mental Health of the Orange County Department of Mental Health.
Participants also benefited from focus groups, facilitated by members of the United Way’s Community Impact Council.