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Jul 17, 2018 2:55 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Board Disbands Opioid Addiction Task Force

Jul 17, 2018 3:10 PM

After completing its intended goal of compiling a set recommendations about how to address the opioid crisis in town, the 42-member Southampton Town Opioid Addiction Task Force was disbanded last week—and replaced with a 16-member panel responsible for implementation.

Established in October 2017, the Opioid Addiction Task Force was originally expected to be in place for approximately six months. During those six months, the task force came up with a series of recommendations for the Town Board about ways it could help the community overcome the opioid crisis.

“It did what it was supposed to,” Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said. “They had a six-month period to develop a set of recommendations, which they did. Now, we’re looking beyond that, and at implementation.”

After disbanding the group last week, the Town Board set up a new committee, called the Opioid Addiction and Recovery Committee. The 16-member team—which includes former News 12 anchorman Drew Scott, Town Police Chief Steven Skrynecki, and former Southampton Village Mayor and current Seafield Center CEO Mark Epley—is made up of six health professionals, two youth service professionals, an educator, a community representative, a representative from Narcotics Anonymous, two family members of victims, a law enforcement representative, a clergy member and a high school student or recent graduate. Each member is appointed to a one-year term.

The committee will focus on implementing the recommendations made by task force.

“I don’t want to give the impression that I’m folding up the tent here,” Mr. Schneiderman said, noting that the task force achieved what it was assembled to achieve.

The task force was formed in October 2017 by Mr. Schneiderman and Mr. Scott, whose granddaughter, Hallie Ulrich, died of an opioid overdose.

Ms. Ulrich, a graduate of Pierson High School in Sag Harbor, was found dead on the grassy shoulder of Alewife Brook Road in East Hampton on the morning of September 7, 2017, not far from where she had been camping at Cedar Point County Park with her boyfriend, Michael Goericke, 28, and another friend.

Mr. Goericke, who grew up in Water Mill and attended school in Southampton, died of an overdose the following day at his mother’s house in Flanders.

The task force was made up of multiple subcommittees, including a prevention committee, which came up with several recommendations that focused on strengthening education about addiction across the board for people in the community—including children, parents, educators and medical professionals.

In addition to the prevention subcommittee, the task force had other subcommittees that focused on treatment, law enforcement and recovery.

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all talk no action.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Jul 17, 18 9:44 PM
1 member liked this comment
This is a TERRIBLE headline. The Town did not disband the Task Force and walk away. For those who made it to the 4th paragraph, you will read:

"After disbanding the group last week, the Town Board set up a new committee, called the Opioid Addiction and Recovery Committee."

A committee of dedicated individuals put themselves forward to continue the work and the Task Force has now become a permanent committee who will keep these conversations going and the work going forward.
By hblc (34), Hampton Bays on Jul 17, 18 11:41 PM
1 member liked this comment
I'm confused -- is the Town of Southampton for or against opioid addiction?
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Jul 19, 18 5:18 PM