Thursday March 16, 2017 at 1:16pm Age: 67 days
Category: High School, District
MINISINK STUDENTS LEAD OPIOIDS-AWARENESS FORUM: EXPERTS AND COMMUNITY SHARE HELPFUL TIPS
Fifty concerned individuals, brought together by Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), gathered in the high school media center on March 9 for “Minisink Talks About Opioids.”
--“We have a problem!”
“A small group of us began speaking out loud about a problem that is all around us, threatening the integrity of our families and community. It is a menace of epidemic proportions. The same problem is presenting itself to all school districts in the county. I'm proud that we haven't shied away from anything and have taken the lead in bringing together prevention experts (from A.D.A.C.), students, parents, law enforcement, and adults in recovery, to start figuring out how to best help our students and our neighbors. I look forward to our next steps,” said Jerry Sander, faculty advisor for SADD, and MVHS/MVMS student assistance counselor.
--Students Take the Lead
The conversation starter for the event was the screening of “78,” a student-produced film based largely on interviews with three people whose lives were significantly impacted by heroin and alcohol abuse. Following the screening, SADD members divided themselves around five tables to help facilitate the conversation between participants.
A day before the March 9 event, Minisink’s SADD president Shannon Feely, and vice president Nicholas Mikulski, accompanied by adviser Jerry Sander, were guests in the Frank Truatt Morning Show--WTBQ 93.5/ FM 1110 AM—with co-hosts Taylor Sterling and Neil Sinclair. They spoke about the making of “78” and the reason for the event.
“The fact that this initiative was directed by the concern and creativity of our students, made it that much more meaningful,” Mr. Sander said.
--At the Table
All three individuals who told their story in “78” joined the event. They were Renee Hustins, a Minisink Valley bus driver who lost her son to an opioid overdose; Mike Balles; and Jim Conklin, executive director of the Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Council (ADAC). Also present were Robert Conflitti, counsel to David Hoovler, Orange County’s district attorney, and Rachel Wilson, executive director of the Orange County Youth Bureau.
--Conversation Takeaways and Information Sharing