County to hold forum on services for those with chemical dependency

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POUGHKEEPSIE – The Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health (DBCH) will hold a virtual public forum on Thursday, April 8 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. to discuss services offered in Dutchess County for those with substance use and chemical dependency. The forum will be via Microsoft Teams and those who wish to attend must register in advance on the County’s website. All input received at the forum will help shape the County’s 2022 Local Services Plan.

Dr. Anil Vaidian, Commissioner of the DBCH said, “Throughout the past 12 months we’ve seen reports of disturbing increases in the number of relapses and overdose-related fatalities across the entire country. The COVID-19 pandemic has dominated the headlines, but its direct effect on the opioid crisis cannot be forgotten.  I strongly encourage the public to participate in this virtual forum, to come and learn about the array of services available in our area.  Participants will also be able to provide us feedback on what services work well, learn more about the challenges people face, and help us address any shortcomings.”

In addition to time for comments and questions from the public, the forum will feature several speakers from different agencies who will provide updates on services for 2021. Presentations include;

  • Christine Groenewegen, Community Prevention Educator discussing ongoing coalition projects with the Council of Addiction Prevention and Education (CAPE) of Dutchess County.
  • Andrew O’Grady, CEO of Mental Health America (MHA) outlining services and expanded partnerships with county government.
  • Barbara Tabala, CASAC-G, Advanced, Director of Dutchess County Programs at Lexington Center for Recovery will discuss current treatments for those with substance use and chemical dependency.
  • Individuals discussing their experience living with substance use and chemical dependency.

Following the record attendance of nearly 100 individuals to the previous DBCH virtual public forum on services for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, DBCH will continue to utilize Microsoft Teams for its public forums. Additional upcoming forums include a forum on Children & Youth services on Monday, May 3, and a forum on Mental Health services on Tuesday, May 18.

For those unable to attend, or who do not feel comfortable speaking in public, DBCH welcomes written comments to be read aloud by the forum moderator.  Individuals may submit comments online at, fax comments to (845) 486-3690, or mail to:  Chemical Dependency Forum, 230 North Rd, Poughkeepsie, NY  12601.

This event is sponsored by the Chemical Dependency Subcommittee of the Dutchess County Mental Hygiene Board.  For more information, please call (845) 486-3680.

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