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SAVANNAH, GA. – February 9, 2022 – Beyond The Bell has partnered with the Greenbriar Children’s Center to host the “Protect Your Family – Understanding Opioid Abuse & Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)” town hall event at 6 – 8 p.m. Thursday, March 3 at the Pennsylvania Avenue Resource Center (PARC), located at 425 Pennsylvania Ave. Savannah, Ga. 31404. Law enforcement, medical professionals, and leaders of the Savannah community will update attendees about how opioids impact individuals and their families. 

Mayor Van Johnson will welcome guests to the event. Speakers from Memorial Health University Medical Center, Savannah Police Department’s Behavioral Analysis Unit, Chatham County EMS, Gateway Behavioral Health Services, Recovery Place as well as an individual in long term recovery will address the impact of opioids that they have seen in their personal and professional lives. There will be a Q&A session with all speakers following the event and dinner will be provided to attendees.

“The goal of this free town hall event is to raise awareness of the opioid problem in the Savannah community and that opioid addiction not only brings danger to the individual, but their entire family,” said Executive Director Sandra Dean. “We are thrilled to be working with Greenbriar Children’s Center to inform the Savannah community about the dangers of opioid abuse and share information about how strong relationships are the foundation of healthy brain development at any age and can be used to help mitigate the impact of trauma.”

Executive Director of Greenbriar Children’s Center, Gena Taylor, will also speak about their Project Safe Place program which focuses on the prevention of child abuse and neglect by partnering with local businesses to provide safe havens for those in need. She will also discuss how opioids in a home can leave a child experiencing ACEs that could lead to future violence victimization and perpetration.

“Youth who have ACEs are more at risk for mental illness, physical health problems, and are at more risk of harming themselves and the community they live in. The first step to preventing this is to educate the community about how common ACEs are in youth and the lasting effect it can have on them, their families, and the wider community,” said Taylor. “We are grateful that Beyond The Bell reached out to us to partner with them for this event so we can reach Savannah community.”

Beyond The Bell, along with the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities and SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) provides tools and evidence-based strategies to train, educate, and support youth and families in the prevention of alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco use and abuse. 

For more information about this free community event, visit Beyond The Bell’s Facebook and Instagram, @beyondthebellsavannah or Greenbriar’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, @greenbriarchildrenscenter. For more information on Beyond The Bell and its programs/resources, please visit For more information about Greenbriar Children’s Center and its programs/services, please visit 

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For media inquiries, please contact Lesley Francis at, Allie Robinson at or 912-547-3100 or the team at 912-417-LFPR (5377).