FISHKILL, N.Y. -- An opiate recovery group plans to launch a "RAP" session for youths on Sunday afternoon in Fishkill.
It's the latest approach by a Hopewell Junction man to raise awareness about the exploding epidemic of heroin and opiate painkillers in the Hudson Valley region.
Anthony Eack helped start weekly "RAP" sessions in January in other parts of Dutchess County.
The new RAP session for youths between the ages of 11 and 16 is planned for 3 to 5 p.m. on Sunday June 12 at Fishkill Church of the Nazarene, 953 Main St. in Fishkill. The pilot session for youths is aimed at prevention and will include all addictions such as cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana.
Eack, who with his family created a non-profit called “Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life Foundation applies his own life experiences toward chipping away at the widening drug crisis.
On Sunday, according to Eack, members of the RAP Session Opiate Recovery Group -- describing their own life experiences -- will speak and educate "our young people on the damage and destruction that is caused by drug use."
RAP stands for Reach All Potentials. Sunday's speakers are RAP members 25 years old or younger.
Eack said several fathers came to him concerned about their children's possible drug use.
"They might get injured playing sports, a doctor prescribes painkillers, and that's it, they're addicted,'' Eack said on Wednesday. "These are kids who haven't had drugs yet. We want to educate them -- not scare them."
Eack helped organize other awareness events in Dutchess County, including a December 2015 rally in Poughkeepsie, as reported here by Daily Voice.
He also started heroin/opiate recovery meetings that are ongoing in Wappingers Falls, Hyde Park and Fishkill.
Eack, a certified recovery coach, said he has been in long-term recovery from alcoholism. and used the fellowship of Alcohol Anonymous as his foundation of recovery. He's often invited to speak at high schools and public drug forums.
"I have sponsored many people of all ages in the 12-steps recovery process," Eack told Daily Voice in an earlier interview.
Eack -- who goes by the nickname, Tony Gatz, can be reached at (917) 444-0328 or click on resources at this web site.
Stay tuned: Eack, who is 52, is planning to sky dive on July 28 near Stewart Air Base in Newburgh, N.Y. The "jump for recovery" RAPtivity will highlight other stimulating activities that aren't addictive -- or fatal.See Attachment