Community Forum Introduces Conversation About Drugs

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Community members were eager to join the district’s important conversation about preventing and treating substance abuse as part of the North Salem Central School District’s “Drugs in Our Community” forum on Nov. 12.

The evening, organized by the district’s Drug Awareness Task Force, drew a crowd of about 140 people.

“I was so gratified by the large number of parents and community members in attendance,” said North Salem Middle/High School Assistant Principal Dr. George A. Bovino, who moderated the forum. “In my 29 years at North Salem, I think this is one of the largest, if not the largest, gathering I have seen for such a program.”

The evening included discussions highlighting people’s personal experiences with substance abuse, as well as advice for recognizing the signs of substance abuse and where to seek help. Guest speakers included representatives from the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office and Police Department; Dr. David Zuckerberg, associate medical director of emergency services at Northern Westchester Hospital Center; David Gerber, director of counseling and shelter services at St. Christopher’s Inn; and a local parent whose child overcame heroin addiction.

“Based upon the responses of those in attendance, it is clear that they wish to learn more and have a follow-up meeting,” said Dr. Bovino. “The Drug Awareness Task Force has already begun discussion as to what will be next.”