Officials teaming up to tackle drug addiction

Town departments and local organizations are joining forces to educate the public about the growing problem of drug addiction and how to combat it. The selectmen recently proclaimed Oct. 20-27 as Tewksbury Drug Awareness Week. The program kicks off next Sunday with Tewksbury’s second annual Overdose Vigil at 7 p.m. on the Tewksbury State Hospital campus. The vigil is to remember those who died because of drug addiction and to give hope to those struggling with it, in addition to calling attention to the problem. The event, free and open to the public, is being organized by Lahey Behavioral Health and the Greater Lowell Substance Abuse Task Force. The week will also include special programs in the schools, a community Drug Awareness Night at the high school on Oct. 23, and a showing of a documentary film, “The Anonymous People,” about those recovering from alcohol and other drug addiction, on Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. at the high school. The week’s programs will conclude Oct. 26 with a drug “take back” event in which residents are invited to turn in their unwanted prescription drugs.