Substance Abuse Educational Assemblies Coming To Pennsylvania High Schools

In the upcoming months, High Schools around the area will hold educational assemblies to teach the students early about the shocking realities of what substance abuse can do to a person and their family.

"What we want to do in the series," said Joanne Troutman, Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way president and CEO, "is to highlight stories of recovery. The program is designed to be engaging, but we will also not understate the devastating effects and graphic nature of addiction."

In order to prepare our future young adults, it is important to educate them first before they become exposed to addictive substances like drugs and alcohol.

"To get ahead of the issue. There will be stories told by recovering addicts." said Troutman, speaking about the ultimate goal for the assemblies.

“It’s a built-in time of year to highlight successes in recovery and address stigma related to all forms of mental health and addiction in our communities,” Troutman continued. “We wanted to make information easily accessible for kids and their families."

The Daily Item and Geisinger Health Plan have come together to sponsor these events. They aim to make the presentations as effective and visually pleasing as possible. There will be local guest speakers who will vocalize their personal addiction and recovery journey.

Also the school has organized for students and parents to come together to distribute educational materials as well as complementary “I support Recovery” shirts to spread awareness at Friday night football games. Also, they will include public service announcements throughout the games.

"Fourteen Pennsylvanians die each day from opioid overdose," said Perry Meadows, medical director of Geisinger Health Plan. "One way to address this epidemic is by education about the risks and the treatment options available to individuals with opiate use disorder. The materials we distribute at the assemblies and football games may provide the information needed to save a life.

"If we save one life," Meadows said, "then our efforts are a success.”

SAMHSA has provided an educational program for the locals as a part of "Recovery Month".

In-school assemblies will be coming to the following schools:

— Selinsgrove Area School District @ Selinsgrove – before tonight's game versus Shamokin High School.

—Mifflinburg Area School District @ Mifflinburg – Sept. 15

—Lewisburg Area School District @ Bucknell University – Sept. 29

—Shikellamy School District @ Shikellamy – Oct. 2

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