Story by Naomi Hanson
Due to the recent increase in the dangers and availability of drugs to school-aged children, the Florida, Greenwood Lake and Warwick Valley school districts hosted an informational forum on Mon., Dec. 16 at the Warwick Valley Middle School.
School districts in Florida, Warwick, and Greenwood Lake have engaged the help of the District Attorney’s office, Warwick Police Force and the Prevention Coalition to tackle the issue of drug abuse in Orange County.
The DAs office shared some statistics about drug use in the area: three times more Orange County residents overdose on heroin or pain medication than any other county in New York State. The DAs office warned attending students and parents against dangerous lethal drugs that could be circulating in the area.
Warwick Police Department Officer Michael Kearns is assigned to the high school and provided anecdotes to warn students against the dangers of marijuana. Both Orange County Assistant District Attorney Matthew Healy and Kearns paid special attention to athletes, referencing how marijuana could affect their bright futures.
Healy referenced that the real danger of smoking marijuana was that it may be laced with lethal drugs. Both encouraged students to look out for one another as well as encouraged parents to go through their student’s things.
There was much public discussion after the panel. One mother was concerned about vaping, while other parents were upset that students can purchase Cannabidiol (CBD).
One student spoke during the panel and expressed his displeasure of the panelists’ advice to curb the freedom and privacy of the students.
A version of this presentation will be coming to Florida and Warwick students in an assembly.