Students from the Jefferson Township Municipal Alliance Committee of the Jefferson Township High School and Middle School led presentations on Thursday, January 25 on drugs that are of relevance to their lives. They announced that their goal was to “shatter the myths” that these substances often come with and to teach about drugs and alcohol and to hopefully prevent future use of these substances.

The presentations opened with the typical warning signs of drug abuse to look for in children. These included: students having problems in school, students neglecting their appearance, chronic nosebleeds, self-isolation, changes in friends and students always asking for money. These presenters urged parents to be positive role models to their children and have open relationships with them. Presenters highlighted the common misconception that allowing children to drink within your own home is safe, this in no way fosters responsible relationships with drugs in the futures of children.

Student presenters were: Gia LaMonica, Olivia LaMonica, Devan McCarthy, Cara Rexroad, Harleigh Rubino, Megahan Craig, Nick Smeilus, Josh Small, Madison Poulas, Brittany Boetticher, Colleen Kuntz, Emil George, Luke Rowe, Allie Gesek and Austin Lobel.

Photo: Amanda Ventre

The night continued with presentations on alcohol, opioids, marijuana, vaping and smoking. School resource officer Chris Fabian attended this event to show his support as well as CVS pharmacist Larry Benenati who gave a brief presentation on how drugs affect children and can lead to devastating effects.

Our local Center for Addiction Recovery Education & Success (CARES) was brought to attention at the conclusion of the night. The phone number to call is 973-625-1143. Every Wednesday from 3 until 7 p.m., the line is open for anyone to speak with a peer recovery specialist who has personal experience with getting rid of addiction.

The next meeting of the Jefferson Township Municipal Alliance and Jefferson Township Connect will be held on February 12 at 7 p.m. at the municipal building. All are welcome to attend.