Letter to the Editor

To the Editor,

I want to  thank the Winthrop Transcript for naming me Woman of the Year for 2016.  I am humbled and honored to be recognized for my work  as a member of  CASA (Community Action for Safe Alternatives) has been a coalition I have been affiliated with in various capacities for the past 10 years.

CASA is a coalition with a primary focus of working with community members to address the issues surrounding the misuse of alcohol and drugs, with a strong emphasis on  prevention.  As an organization, our goal is to strategize and implement change to help prevent issues related to misuse of alcohol and drugs, addiction, and risky behaviors.

Additionally, CASA works collaboratively with the town supporting those in recovery, diverting and supporting at-risk youth identified through the police and school departments. Most recently, CASA has begun work with a group of youth to  address mental health issues within the community.

I have lived in Winthrop my entire life and feel fortunate to be able to be involved here in so many ways.  Our town is a special place and I am proud to be a part of its growth. I want to be here to make help make a difference in our community.

As I write this letter of appreciation, I also want to take advantage of this platform to spark dialogue around the issues of addiction and encourage our community to get more involved with CASA’s work! I am well-aware of how alcohol and drug misuse impacts family, friends, neighbors and community.

Because I grew up here, I have experienced first-hand the struggles of addiction and its toll on those it most impacts.  Addiction does not discriminate by race, gender identity, or socio-economic status.  It impacts everyone, but for so many- it’s a lonely place! As a coalition of the community, our goal is to help its citizens come together to create positive change. We hope to challenge ideas that promote stigma and encourage change of unhealthy social norms; to educate youth and parents/caregivers and provide resources and alternatives to those seeking support.

Our work only stretches to those that want to be a part of it, want to have challenging conversations and want to give their time to help initiate change. Every voice is a valuable addition to the conversation-all perspectives and voices matter.  Our community is stronger when we can come together collectively and be one voice!

As a mother to three small children who will grow up in this beautiful town, I want to work hard to give them and their friends and classmates a future of opportunity and healthy growth. I encourage you to join me in creating new opportunity to providing a healthier, more inclusive, stigma-free environment; for you, your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, neighbors, and all the future Vikings.

For anyone who wants to learn more or get to involved, please reach out to me at 617-763-0241 [email protected]

Thank you!

LeighAnn Eruzione

 

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