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Addiction awareness event draws parents & community members
Some of the statistics discussed at the event were startling:  
  • One in five high school students reports misusing prescription drugs at least once in their lifetime. 
  • It is estimated that 90% of addictions take root in the adolescent years.
  • If parents talk with their kids about substance abuse, there is an estimated 50% less chance the kids will get involved.

  • Broome County District Attorney Steve Cornwell and Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Southwick of Syracuse spoke about the crime prevention and diversion programs utilized to help low-level criminal offenders get treatment instead of being prosecuted. Both agreed that once an individual is addicted, prosecution does not work as a deterrent. 
    Whitney Point School Resource Officer Steve Noyes was a member of the panel. He discussed his role in the schools, saying that while student and staff safety is his first priority, he also works to build relationships with the students in order to help and guide them. Paige Taylor, a counselor at WPCSD, also participated in the panel, and told students and parents to reach out to her with any concerns. "I'm here to help address these issues," she said, and reminded students that she maintains confidentiality. 
    Two WPHS seniors were on the panel to share their commitment to abstain from using addictive substances. "I have three younger siblings who look up to me," said one of the students, "and I don't want to let them down." When asked what keeps them strong in the face of peer pressure, the other student said, "Definitely the people around me. My world revolves around my mom and my friends, and I want to be there for them."
    Panel members also included:
    • Alexis Pleus - TruthPharm
    • Nikki Hoppes - EMS First Responder
    • Alan Wilmarth - Administrative Director, Behavioral Health, UHS
    • Andrea Tucker - ACBC, Certified Recovery Peer Advocate
    • Michelle Summers - Northern Broome Addiction Awareness Coalition Chair
    • Maria Fabrizi - Broome County Prevention Specialist
    • John Akshar - Detective, Broome County Sheriff's Department
    • Alicia Grunder - Recovery High School Clinician
    • Patty Townsend - family member
    • Tressie Shield - grandmother
    • Jesse Natishak - person in recovery   
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    10 Keibel Rd. Whitney Point, NY 13862  |  P 607.692.8202  |  F 607.692.4434
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