Story by Lourice Angie
Members of the Greenwood Lake Coalition teamed up with Greenwood Lake Mayor Dwyer and the Village Board, the G.L. Police Dept., members of the Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Council (ADAC), members of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, and the NY National Guard Counterdrug Task Force to conduct an interactive presentation on Tues., May 2 for parents and teens on the changing culture and signs of drug/alcohol use.
Parents and teens in the community were invited to attend a very informative free of charge interactive presentation that focused on raising awareness and identifying the signs of substance abuse. Parents took part in an interactive activity called, “Hidden Mischief,” where they were asked if they could recognize, not only the obvious signs, but how and what to look for if they suspected their teen was using drugs or alcohol. A staged teen bedroom was set up for parents to walk through and inspect. It included drug/alcohol paraphernalia, concealment methods, and drug/alcohol use references.
Parents were given a few minutes to search the room and list all methods of paraphernalia found throughout the bedroom on a sheet of paper. In the end, there were a total of sixty clues. Some were found and others weren’t.
ADAC Prevention specialist, Jillian Benedetto discussed the obvious and not so obvious clues with the group. Some of the newer concealment methods of drug/alcohol use are extremely alarming as, even professionally trained police officers overlooked some of these methods and references. Parents are urged to become more involved with and aware of identifying the signs of drug/alcohol use if they suspect their teen may be using.
A “Narcan 101” table was set up at the presentation with important information, literature, emergency use kits and reusable plastic water bottles courtesy of the National Guard Counterdrug Task Force. The Task Force recognizes the changing culture of drug use and addiction and supports communities and law enforcement agencies by providing specialized tools, valuable information, and resources. A brief overview about what Narcan does and how it’s used was offered. Naloxone (narcan) is a potentially life saving medication that reverses the effects of an opiate overdose.
Teens were given the opportunity to experience different levels of simulated alcohol intoxication in which they were given “fatal vision” goggles to wear while taking part in an interactive obstacle course. Each of the various activities incorporated the negative consequences of underage drinking.
“It is important that parents educate their kids at a young age instead of having them go to or confide in a friend,” said Luis Giron of the NY National Guard Counterdrug Task Force.
“We were hoping for a larger turnout of people. We need to try and spread the word to as many parents as we can,” said Danielle Paccione, secretary for the G.L. Coalition. Mayor Jesse Dwyer says he anticipates coordinating more events in the near future where both parents and teens can take part in these extremely educational activities and valuable resources.
For information on the Greenwood Lake Coalition and community events contact 477-9390 or visit their facebook page at: www.facebook.com/greenwoodlakecoalition.
For those who have a drug/alcohol problem or need further information contact the ADAC on their confidential help line at 294-9000 or visit their website at: www.adacinfo.com.