Report by Paula Antolini
December 29, 2016 8:45PM EDT
‘The HERO Project Coffee Social’ Is Jan. 8th at Molten Java with Live Music
“The HERO Project” (heroin and opiate awareness) is a caring community working together to raise awareness through education and events, about the need to resist heroin and opiate abuse. Website: http://heroherohero.org/
The first event of 2017, the “HERO Project Coffee Social“ will be held by the HERO Project members on January 8, 2017.
Please join them for a great day of awareness and community as the HERO Project will introduce its events and goals for 2017. The HERO project members will also be on site to answer questions and invite anyone who is interested in making a difference. The HERO group will be seeking board members, committee members and event volunteers.
The event will feature live music and poetry form Ethan James, Scott Daly, Brenton Vaughan, Scott Elliot, Marc Huberman and Atom Rush. There will be enough time at end the night for a Pop Up Jam of all the local talent.
Enjoy all that Molten Java Has to offer with great coffee and snacks all reasonably priced.
There will be a power point presentation and lots of music.
This is a FREE event with purchase of any Molten Java product. Donations will gladly be accepted.
HERO Project Coffee Social
Sunday, January 8, 2017 at 4 PM – 7:45 PM
Molten Java, 213 Greenwood Ave, Bethel, CT
Bethel native Donald E. Olson, 43, founded the HERO Project group in January 2016. He decided he wanted to attack this issue head-on because he and his family experienced the devastating sudden loss of a young family member in May 2015, due to addiction. Olsen formed a group called “Hero Project” to try and stop this from ever happening to anyone else ever again. The name represents “Heroine Education to Resist Opiates.” Olson said he wanted to “save one life at a time.” Present members are: Donald E. Olson, Donald W. Olson Senior (dad), Kathy Olson (mom), Jeff McKenna, Julia Ambrosi, Paula Antolini, Bobbie Cahill, Jenn Henry Lawlor, Dan Bishop and Missy Grandinetti.
The HERO Project has held multiple events in 2016, the first was the “Hero Project Pizza Challenge, Changing Lives 1 Slice at a Time,” at the United Methodist Church on Greenwood Avenue. There were approximately 100 attendees and this first fundraiser was a huge success, raising $1,000 in only two hours. Thank you Bethel! Guests enjoyed a variety of local pizza and a salad, while information was provided about the drug abuse and addiction problem and information for sources of help for those afflicted. A raffle provided prizes for the lucky winners. Also after tasting all pizzas, guests voted for the best pizza. AND … the winner for the Best Pizza in Bethel 2016 is … Famous Pizza! (although all pizzas were delicious, donated by many local businesses!)
The second Hero Project event was held on April 13, 2016, the “HERO Town Hall” meeting, a first of this format with individual speakers, held in the Bethel United Methodist Church at 6:00 p.m. The HERO group was pleased to have speakers sharing their stories of addiction and recovery or about how addiction affected family members.
The HERO Project third event was during the SummerFest 2016 “Hero Project Amazing Race” where Hero Project representatives spread awareness about the addiction epidemic, introduced the new group, gained new members and offered prizes. Top prize was $100 to participants that checked into all 4 booths throughout the event and collected all 4 paper bracelets, to eventually hand in to be eligible for the final raffle.
The HERO Project looks forward to seeing you at the “HERO Project Coffee Social” on January 8th!
Heroin and opiate abuse and addiction.
Heroin is administered in three ways: smoking, snorting, or shooting (injecting). Because it enters the brain quite quickly, heroin is very addictive. In fact, each time a user administers heroin, more is needed to get the same high.
Heroin is one of the most destructive and physically addictive drugs. Likewise, all opiates are physically addictive drugs. Opiate abusers will develop a tolerance, or the need to use larger amounts to obtain the same effects. They become addicted to opiates when they require regular and increasing doses in order to function normally in daily life.
When opiate use is suddenly discontinued or curtailed, withdrawal symptoms such as loss of appetite, irritability and anxiety, insomnia, vomiting and nausea occur. Heroin withdrawal in particular can be a difficult and lengthy process: It is highly recommended that doctors who specialize in addiction treatment supervise medical detoxification from heroin.
How does heroin affect users?
Heroin induces feelings of euphoria followed by pleasant drowsiness. Initial highs lasts about four to six hours. Once a user develops a tolerance, highs only last two to four hours. After that, the user needs another “fix” to maintain the desired effect.
Typically, warm, flushed skin, dry mouth and heavy limbs accompany heroin and opiate users’ initial experiences of euphoria. Next, users alternates between wakeful and drowsy states, at which point nausea and constipation may occur. Occasionally, when consumed in large doses, opiates can suppress breathing to the point of death.
Long-term effects of heroin and opiate use include collapsed veins, infection of the heart lining and valves, abscesses, cellulitis and liver disease. Pulmonary conditions, including various types of pneumonia, often arise due to users’ poor health and suppressed respiration.
The dangers of heroin.
Street heroin may contain additives or contaminants that clog blood vessels leading to the lungs, liver, kidneys or brain. This can cause infection or even the death of small patches of cells in vital organs. Other infectious diseases, such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis, may also result from taking heroin intravenously. Finally, mixing opiates and heroin with other central nervous system depressants—like alcohol, sedatives and antihistamines—increases one’s risk of respiratory failure.
Treatment for heroin and opiate addiction usually begins with medically assisted detoxification, and includes pharmacological treatments (like methadone or buprenorphrine) that help prevent relapse and ease withdrawal symptoms. Holistic treatment plans also involve counseling, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and maintenance programs.