On November 19, 2015, Dr. Oz, the cardiothoracic surgeon who hosts “The Dr. Oz Show,” and national organization Drugs Over Dinner will partner for the National Night of Conversation, developed to encourage families and friends to discuss the dangers of addiction over dinner.
Many people view the family dinner table as a place for gathering and joining together in open, honest conversation. On November 19, Dr. Oz and Drugs Over Dinner hope that the discussion can not only inform families and friends across the United States about addiction, but also remove some of the stigma attached to those suffering from drug or alcohol abuse.
According to Drugs Over Dinner’s website, the organization provides “a toolkit to plan, host and moderate a conversation about drugs and addiction.” They recommend hosting groups of three to eight people, and interested individuals can enter information online (such as who they’re hosting at the dinner table and what topics they’d like to discuss) in order to receive conversational prompts, post-dinner next steps, and invitation language to send to potential guests.
The National Night of Conversation can provide parents with the perfect opportunity to discuss the risks of drug and alcohol use with their children, and discover what exposure to these substances their children may already be facing outside the home. It also gives children the chance to ask any questions they may have about drugs and alcohol.
In addition to participating in the National Night of Conversation by hosting or attending a dinner, Dr. Oz and Drugs Over Dinner invite individuals to show their support for the cause by posting an empty dinner plate on social media with the hashtag #NightOfConversation.
“On most nights of the year you can find people posting pictures of their meals on social media, but on November 19th, we are asking people to post a picture of an empty dinner plate, because on this night the conversation is more important than the food,” said Dr. Oz, according to his website.
Having an open discussion about substance abuse among family members can help create a safe, empathetic space for family members to come forward if they feel they or someone they know may be struggling with substance abuse. Creating such an environment can be invaluable when it comes to preserving the safety and health of loved ones.