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Wednesday October 25, 2017 at 6:12pm Age: 1 year
Category: District, High School, Middle School


The opioids epidemic across America has captured the attention of every news network and media outlet, and it’s hard to imagine anyone is still unaware of it. 

In Minisink Valley, SADD students led the first public forum on opioids in March of 2017, and they continue to be involved in awareness-building at the high school and middle school. On Oct. 19, over 70 individuals gathered in the high school’s auditorium to hear from Orange County officials and non-profit agencies about the nature and scope of the problem in our area, and the resources available to county residents.

While nothing speaks louder than the testimony of a parent who has lost a child to opiate addiction—as we heard during the Oct. 19 forum—a few data bits from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are worth the attention of any parent of school-aged children: 

  • 90% of prescription drug addictions start in the teen years.
  • 73% of teens do not think it’s harmful to try heroin once or twice.
  • 30% of high school seniors say that heroin is easy to obtain; 13% of 8th graders agree.

For a parent, the pressing question goes something like this: “What can I do? How do I keep my child from becoming a statistic in the opioid crisis?”

1. Start talking! Be engaged. Be open. Provide a safe environment for difficult conversations.
─Resources: Parent Talk Kit; “How to talk to your kids if you did drugs

2. Keep your child safe: monitor internet usage and online purchases; know your teen’s friends; know your teen’s schedule; talk regularly about school, relationships, and everyday life.

3. Know the facts about drug abuse.
─Resources: “What are opioids?”; Preventing Drug Abuse Among Children and Adolescents;

4. Keep any prescription medications out of the reach of children and teens. Properly dispose of any unused medication. Take extra precautions with prescriptions with refills.

5. Know and monitor for the warning signs.
─Resources: “Get Smart About Drugs”; “Look for the Warning Signs

6. Learn about the items kids use to hide or consume drugs.
─Resources: “How to Identify Drug Paraphernalia

7. Be ready to intervene.

8. Keep a list of community resources for help and support.

9. Speak to your child’s guidance counselor or school social worker.  

These tips were compiled from a variety of resources, most of which are shared here as links.

Minisink Valley Central School District and Minisink Valley High School wish to extend a word of thanks to the following individuals and agencies for bringing an opioids public forum to Minisink Valley: District Attorney David M. Hoovler; the Office of County Executive Steven Neuhaus; the Hon. Robert H. Freehill, County Court Judge, Diversion and Drug Court; Carl E. Dubois, County Sheriff; Darcie M. Miller, Commissioner, Dept. of Social Services & Dept. of Mental Health; James Conklin, Executive Director, Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Council; and Dr. Dean Scher, Executive Director/COO, Catholic Charities Community Services of Orange and Sullivan—for bringing an opioids public forum to Minisink Valley.