Dr. Ira Mandel and the Knox County Recovery Coalition will begin a series of “Community Conversations” in communities throughout Knox County with a meeting at the Cushing Community Center, 39 Cross St., Wednesday, Oct. 19, from 6 to 8 p.m. The goals of these meeting are to build stronger communities by strengthening connections, trust and understanding between neighbors and to foster involvement in local supportive activities.

The effects of the drug addiction epidemic have put families in crisis and torn communities apart in Knox County. Needles and syringes are littering yards, streets and parks in every town. Babies are born addicted at alarming rates and 10 percent of teens and young adults are addicted here, as throughout New England. Deaths of young people are doubling every year, with two to three deaths every month in Knox County. It truly takes a village to heal the effects of drug addiction and to protect more youth from becoming further statistics.

Announcements will be made weekly about upcoming meetings in Camden, Rockland, St. George, Thomaston, Union and Warren.For more information, visit knoxrecovery.org or call 558-3525.