Parent Connection Forum Will Address ‘Urgent’ Survey Concerns

Newtown Bee The talk will be facilitated by substance abuse expert Elizabeth Driscoll-Jorgensen, and feature panelists from all factions of the community. Participants will hear the most recent information regarding the reality of alcohol and drug use among the youth in Newtown and surrounding areas.The panelists will speak candidly about the current issues from their personal and professional perspectives. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions of the following young people and adults who will comprise the panel: Police Officer Dominic Costello, Newtown Middle School and High School youth resource officer; Judy Blanchard, chair of Newtown Prevention Council; Beth Agen, executive director of Newtown Youth & Family Services, and Scott Clayton, Newtown High School assistant principal.

Middle and high school students who attend this forum with their parents or guardians will be offered Community Involvement Certificates.

“The premise behind this forum is to get as many people as possible talking about the issue of substance use and abuse in our community. We need to separate fact from fiction and get a true picture of the problem,” said Dorrie Carolan, Newtown Parent Connection co-founder. “Mr Lundquist’s survey has reopened the dialogue and indicates that the people of Newtown are interested and concerned about knowing the facts and making a difference.”

According to the survey, there is a disturbingly high belief — among 67 percent of those who responded — that there is a substance abuse problem among Newtown teens. This figure represents the thinking toward all age groups and was irrespective of whether or not respondents have children in school.

“Although this is an issue that seems easy to agree on as a general concern, the rating was based specifically on rating it as a ‘Most Urgent’ problem or a ‘major problem’ facing Newtown,” Mr Lundquist explained during recent presentations on his survey results.

The February 26 panel is made up of a cross section of people who each have a piece of the substance use puzzle, and this will elicit a fascinating conversation. All concerned parents, guardians, educators, grandparents, coaches, and anyone who lives or works with young people are invited to attend this provocative forum.

Parents are invited to bring their children.

For additional information contact Ms Carolan at 994-5394 or Donna DeLuca at 426-9280. Learn more about the Parent Connection by visiting

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Mailing Address
PO Box 187
Newtown, CT 06470

Office and Meeting Address
2 Washington Square
Fairfield Hills
Newtown, CT 06470

Mission Statement

The mission of the Newtown Parent Connection is to educate and empower the community in the prevention of substance abuse and to embrace families in crisis.

Support Groups

Hope & Support

A weekly gathering for parents and caregivers with children or loved one's affected by substance use/abuse. This group provides a confidential venue to receive information and support concerning how to handle their child's or loved one's suspected or confirmed use of substances. Facilitated by an experienced drug & alcohol counselor.

Meeting Information Here

A compassionate venue for those

who have lost a child or other loved one due to catastrophic circumstances. The group is facilitated by a licensed therapist.
Meeting Information Here

First Wednesday of month
7:00 to 8:30 pm


Founder & Executive Director

Dorrie Carolan and her husband raised their four children in Newtown, CT. Starting the Parent Connection was never part of her plan.

The issue of substance abuse became personal when her eldest son, Brian, became addicted and subsequently died at age 28 of a prescription drug overdose. Through the struggles caused by Brian's addiction, Dorrie became aware that this was an issue that affected many others in the community. She founded the Parent Connection in 1993 in an attempt to network with other concerned Newtown parents. It was the impetus behind many policy changes in town and within the schools.

Our Board of Directors is a committed body of volunteers who support our mission to keep the youth of Newtown safe and substance free.

Dorrie Carolan  - Executive Director

Joseph Hemingway - President 

Gene Vetrano- Vice President

Frank Crudo- Treasurer

Kevin Carolan -Secretary

Maggie Conway

David Cooper

Anne Dalton

Kathleen Moonan

Ken Rodbell

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