IN HUNTERDON Safe Communities Coalition Partners with Local Schools To Help Teens Shatter the Myths about Alcohol and Drug Use

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The Safe Communities Coalition of Hunterdon/Somerset County joined forces with local schools to provide facts from scientists and experts across the United States as part of “National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week (NDAFW).  The week-long health observance, organized by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), both part of the National Institutes of Health, took place Monday, January 23rd through Sunday, January 29th.  NDAFW gives students the opportunity to get real facts about drugs and alcohol and clarify the misconceptions they have by getting scientific answers from experts.  As part of the NDAFW celebration, local schools in the area read a drug or alcohol fact every morning during the week.

About a third of high school seniors across the country report using an illicit drug sometime in the past year, and more than ten percent report non-medical use of a narcotic painkiller.  While drugs can put a teenager’s health and life in jeopardy, many teens are not aware of the risks. Even for those teens who do not abuse drugs, many have friends or family who do, and they are often looking for ways to help them.

“We want teens to have the opportunity to learn what science has taught us about drug use alcohol, and addiction,” said Lesley Gabel, Director of the Safe Communities Coalition. There are so many myths about drugs and alcohol cluttering our popular culture.  National Drug & Alcohol Facts WeekSM is for teens to get honest answers about drugs so they can make good, informed decisions for themselves and share accurate information with friends.”

The Safe Communities Coalition would like to thank the administration and staff of the following schools for their participation in this initiative:
– Bridgewater Raritan High School
– Clinton Township Middle School
– Delaware Valley Regional High School
– Franklin High School
– JP Case Middle School
– North Hunterdon High School
– Ridge High School
– Somerset Vocational High School
– Somerville High School
– South Hunterdon Regional High School
– William Annin Middle School

image1.JPGThese schools participated in NDAFW to help educate students on real facts about drugs and alcohol through a daily fact on the morning announcements, a daily email to staff and students, or provided more information through a bulletin board. The SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) club at Somerville High School decorated a bulletin board that provided  information about NDAFW as students were walking through the hallway. It was amazing to have the school’s participation and to see students become more knowledgeable about drugs and alcohol.

About the Safe Communities Coalition:  The goal of the Safe Communities Coalition is to live in a safe and healthy community by eliminating drug use, underage drinking and prescription drug abuse.  Through wide-spread community collaboration, environmental change, and community education in Hunterdon and Somerset counties, the Safe Communities Coalition will address areas of concern including, but not limited to, reducing Rx drug abuse across the lifespan, underage drinking, tobacco, marijuana, heroin, and other drug use.  For more information on the Coalition, visit our website atwww.safecoalition.org or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SafeCommunitiesCoalition, Twitter @safe_coalition orInstagram at safe_coalition

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