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Nassau To Host Workshop On Drug Prevention In Middle Schools

The statistics are startling. Approximately 4.5 million American children, aged 12 and older, reported abusing prescription drugs; while 1 in 3 teens report having a close friend who abuses prescription pain relievers to get high. Meanwhile only a third of teens in the state learn about the risk of drugs from their parents.

County Executive Edward P. Mangano, District Attorney Kathleen Rice, treatment providers, and local schools recognize that this isn’t just a state or a nation-wide problem; it’s happening here in Nassau County and it’s everyone’s problem. In Nassau, approximately 3 people are dying each week from abusing prescription drugs or heroin. The journey, however, often begins when children in middle school experiment with alcohol, tobacco and marijuana. It is a pathway that can be altered with information, education and resources.

On May 11th, County Executive Mangano and District Attorney Rice, through the County’s Heroin Task Force will hosta conference, “Building Your Toolbox for Drug Prevention,” to help school districts create and implement effective drug prevention programs. Both elected officials are urging all Nassau school districts to participate in this free forum. The May 11th conference, held at The Morrelly Homeland Security Center in Bethpage, will also address strengthening existing drug prevention programs; help develop community partnerships to address the issue; foster communication within a district, and encourage the sharing of ideas and resources among school districts to maximize efforts and results.

County Executive Mangano stated, “It’s critical that we get drug prevention and education information to schools, parents and the community so that we are all partners in this fight to save lives.”

District Attorney Rice added, “We have all come together to strengthen our resources and our communities, by getting the word out through schools.”

Henry L. Grishman, past president of both the County and State Council of School Superintendents and a member of the Nassau County Heroin Prevention Task force, said he “strongly urges each district to attend this important activity.”

To register for the May 11th conference, school officials should contact Maria Ploth at (516) 571-2579. Tours of the Homeland Security Center will be available after the workshop.