Triad is making significant strides in its young life in the Greater New Milford area.

Organizers are still excited about the turnout for an Aug. 22 luncheon at The Maxx. Some 77 seniors attended the event, hosted by the New Milford chapter of the Connecticut Triad Council.

The New Milford Senior Center, the New Milford Police Department and Housatonic Valley Coalition Against Substance Abuse (HVCASA) took part in the program.

"The seniors were riveted," said Damon deChamplain, chairman of the New Milford chapter. "We try to put together four or five events a year. This one was on senior safety."

NMPD's Sgt. James Dzamko discussed securing medications as well as scams that target seniors.

"We will soon have a medication takeback box up and running at the police department," Dzamko said. "I discourage using a lock box for storing prescriptions as you can forget where you put the key.

"A medicine cabinet in a bathroom is not a good choice either," he added, "because then they are behind a closed door."

Phone scams often target seniors, Dzamko noted.

"If you get a call that your grandson is in jail and needs money, that means he's safe," he said. "Call family members and tell them about the call. Let them decide the veracity of the call and handle the situation."

Allison Fulton, executive director of HVCASA, discussed warning signs of drug abuse and encouraged talking with doctors if an "overabundance" of painkillers are being given to you or a partner.

"Alcohol continues to be the number one substance that is abused," she said. "Prescription drug misuse is leveling out but stays on the radar because of the number of people with opioid addictions."

Fulton also talked to those on hand about gambling addiction, abusive family situations and suicide prevention. She recommended calling 911 if a senior were to be in the act of being physically harmed.

To reach help for suicide prevention or gambling addictions, dial 211 or call the Connecticut chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) at 860-882-0236.

stuz@newstimes.com; 860-355-7322