The substance abuse problems of adulthood often begin in adolescence. The community of Lindenhurst and the rest of Long Island know this all too well. A region that has been plagued by not only drunk-driving fatalities, but also prescription opioid and heroin addiction, Long Island is now mobilizing to empower and educate themselves and each other regarding ways to treat and prevent substance abuse at the local level. Many communities have established prescription drop-off programs, addiction awareness rallies and even forums on how to distribute Narcan. Law enforcement and prevention advocates are doing more and more to stop the spread of drug and alcohol abuse on Long Island.
The Latest example of this increased community awareness comes from Lindenhurst High School, which has set up a drug and alcohol treatment program for its addicted and vulnerable treatment population. A first-of-its-kind effort in the region, the treatment program is open to any of the high school students that are abusing or addicted to drugs and alcohol. The program also serves non-addicted students who have friends that may be at risk for chemical dependency. District Superintendent and former high school principal, Daniel Giodano said the district “had to do something”, confessing that he has seen far too many graduates and current students affected by drugs and alcohol.
Teenage drug abuse, specifically heroin, has invaded Long Island and has only gotten stronger since its arrival. Last year Governor Cuomo pledged over $8 million to combat prescription drug and heroin abuse among young adults throughout New York. One of main objectives of the funding is to stem the misuse of prescription opioids that are leading so many to heroin. There’s no telling if the measure will catch on in other areas of Long Island, but it’s a step in the right direction toward helping current addicts and those at risk for developing full-blown chemical dependency.