In response to a growing number of heroin and other drug abuse fatalities, Hendrick Hudson schools Superintendent Joseph Hochreiter and Cortlandt Supervisor Linda Puglisi are holding a workshop on “Prescription Drugs and Heroin: What Our Community Needs to Know to Stay Safe.”
The forum, set for 7 to 8:30 p.m. Feb. 25 at Hendrick Hudson High School, 2166 Albany Post Road, Montrose, is geared to parents and other concerned citizens and will feature a seven-member panel discussing the issues of drug and other substance abuse in the community and how to respond to it. There will be time for questions afterward.
In late January, three young people allegedly overdosed to death on heroin: Thomas Coogan, 23, of Buchanan; Whitney Delhay, 28, of Dobbs Ferry; and Tyler Seger, 19, of Cortlandt – a 2012 Hendrick Hudson High School graduate and lacrosse player. Press and police accounts have made the connection between heroin and prescription drug abuse—either drugs obtained from home medicine cabinets, or purchased illegally on the street.
Attendees will learn about current enforcement and legal activities to reduce heroin and illegal prescription drug sales in the area; how prescription drug abuse can lead to misuse, heroin use, and addiction; treatment and overdose prevention options; and town and school prevention strategies.
“We have heard the concerns of parents in our district and we are here to help,” Hochreiter said. “Every facet of our community, from municipal and county governments, to social service agencies and law enforcement, to schools and churches, has to participate in the effort to stop heroin and prescription drug abuse. The future of our youngest citizens is at stake.”
Panelists include Dr. Steven Kipnis, Medical Director of the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services; Robert Kelly, Executive Director, of the Westchester Intelligence Center of the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office; Colleen Anderson, Youth Center Director for the Town of Cortlandt’s Recreation Department; Angela Alvarado, Student Assistance Counselor at Hendrick Hudson High School; Jeffery Veatch, parent, and founder of the Justin Veatch Fund; and representatives from both the Westchester County Department of Public Safety and the New York State Police.
The forum is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Colleen Anderson at 914-736-0498 or Angela Alvarado at 914-257-5869.