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Thursday October 19, 2017 at 12:00pm Age: 1 year
Category: High School, District


For too long, we responded to the opioid crisis as something happening elsewhere, to complete strangers. But here we are today in Orange County where three times more residents are dying of heroin or pain medication overdoses than in any other county in New York State.

Knowing firsthand how opiates are gripping Orange County communities, workplaces, schools and families, District Attorney David M. Hoovler has launched “Connect 2 Disconnect,” an opiate-awareness campaign. Public forums at area high schools are one of initiatives sponsored by the DA's Office. All are welcome and encouraged to attend:

WHAT: “The Opioid Crisis: Public Forum on Education, Treatment, and Law Enforcement”
WHEN: Thu., Oct. 19, 2017, 6:30 – 8 p.m.
WHERE: MVHS Auditorium 
SPEAKERS: David M. Hoovler, District Attorney; Hon. Robert H. Freehill, County Court Judge, Diversion and Drug Court; Steven Neuhaus, County Executive; Carl E. Dubois, County Sheriff; Darcie M. Miller, Commissioner, Dept. of Social Services & Dept. of Mental Health; and James Conklin, Executive Director, Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Council.

Bringing together law enforcement, county government, drug-abuse educators, treatment providers, and the segment of the judiciary that deals with drug issues, the forum will provide valuable information to parents, students, educators, and other professionals, on the following topics:

  • The scope of the heroin epidemic in our area
  • The dangers of heroin use
  • Signs that a loved one might be addicted to heroin
  • Strategies for dealing with heroin addiction
  • Treatment options
  • The legal implications of possessing heroin

A word from District Attorney Hoovler
“The opiate crisis is the greatest challenge we face, and defeating this epidemic will require the concerted efforts of many. Indeed, it is becoming increasingly apparent that we must attack the epidemic on multiple fronts, that education, treatment, and law enforcement in isolation from each other will not be enough. I, Sheriff DuBois, County Executive Neuhaus, and all of County government are committed to fighting the war against opiates on all of those fronts. We are committed to educating people to stay off drugs, and to getting people who are addicted to drugs the treatment that they need. And we are committed to taking down drug dealers, so that they cannot addict our citizens or destroy our communities. These forums support the education and treatment aspects of our battle against opiates. I invite everyone to attend and to pass the invitation along to others in their communities, so that as many of our citizens as possible might take home this valuable information.”

Members of MVHS Students Against Destructive Decisions have led opiate awareness efforts at MVHS and MVMS, under the guidance of Jerry Sander, club advisor and student assistance counselor. 

In March of 2017, SADD students hosted the first opioids public forum in Minisink Valley. The event was centered around the screening of the student film, “78”—the number of lives claimed each day by opioid overdose in 2014.

"'78' was produced by the Minisink Valley High School’s SADD Chapter with the help of the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council of Orange County and the Orange County Youth Bureau," said Nick Mikulski, SADD president. "The film features stories of individuals affected by addiction, as well as anonymous quotes written by students in English classes. The film was shown in the same classes and at our first public forum. Each time it impacted viewers emotionally and sparked amazing conversation.  I’m very proud of the SADD members who helped to put it together."

Resources for Parents and Students
An extensive list of community resources created by ADAC is available on the Parent Resources and Community Info pages of our website. It includes contact information for Critical Services, Self-Help Hotlines, Information and Referral agencies, Inpatient/Outpatient Treatment, Detoxification Services and Behavioral Health.