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Twp. Group Seeks Funds for Anti-Drug Program

Municipal Alliance hopes to sponsor speaker at West Morris Central High School.

Dear Editor,

Drug addiction is no stranger to this beautiful, idyllic community we live in.

Heroin addiction is on the rise at the high school and in the community at large. I would dare you to find a high school student who doesn’t know many who have tried it or some that are addicts.

We, the Municipal Alliance need help. There is a program we want to sponsor for the fall which will be held at West Morris Central High School. The location for the program will be: 259 Bartley Road, Chester, NJ 07930. It would be held for all four grades, 1,300 students during the day and an evening adult program will also be offered for the community at large. It is the well-publicized Chris Herrin program.

Chris Herren, a basketball legend from Fall River, Massachusetts, realized his dreams by playing for the Celtics in the NBA, only to lose it all to addiction before rising again with a new dream. His program has been featured on shows such as Good Morning America, The Today Show, CBS Good Morning and many others. He is a powerful speaker who makes a mark. His impact will make a difference.

He was a High School star and his future was bright. He was predicted to be one of the great ones.  Attending Boston College his freshman year, he later transferred to California State University, Fresno to play for legendary coach Jerry Tarkanian. At Fresno State he was named to the All-WAC first team 1996 and 1997 and held school records in both assists and steals. Herren’s basketball success concealed a darker side, and his dream soon became a nightmare of addiction—first alcohol, then cocaine, finally heroin. His alcohol and drug use escalated until he was found unconscious with a heroin needle hanging from his arm in the driver’s seat of his car. After extensive rehabilitation stays, Chris has been drug-free and alcohol-free since August 1, 2008. Herren has refocused his life and dreams to put his sobriety and family above all else. Now he spends his time telling high school students and parents the reality of addiction and is an inspiration to all not to get involved with drugs.

Programs like Herren fall program are important to bring to our community.  We presently do not have the funds but with your help, we can make this happen. To this end, the Municipal Alliance is asking your organization/business whether you would consider partnering with us to co-sponsoring this program. It will be publicized and your participation as a co-sponsor will be recognized.

The Municipal Alliance looks forward to working with you. We also invite you to have a member of your organization attend one of our meetings and fully take part in our organizations if not done already.  If you have any questions, please feel free to call.

Please help us with these and other programs and events that will be nurturing, educational and inspirational to all that reside within Washington Township. Knowledge is power and together we can make a difference in one person’s life.

Thank you for considering supporting the efforts of the Washington Township Municipal Alliance.

Regards, 

Linda Guldner
Co-Chairperson of the Washington Twp. Municipal Alliance

Jon September 21, 2012 at 05:42 AM
Since virtually all HS students personally know one or more heroin users or addicts (according to the article), how about setting up an mechanism for letting them anonymously report the names of those students who are using drugs, so that they can get help before it's too late for them? What are the realistic estimates for the number or percentage of WMC students who have tried herion or who are addicted to it? Please, do tell.
dm September 21, 2012 at 11:12 PM
probably 1-2% of the students... coming from a recent graduate
Jon September 22, 2012 at 03:39 AM
Thanks for the info, dm. That estimate amounts to 13 to 26 students if the total enrollment is 1,300. Question: As a student, if there was a way for you to anonymously report anyone who you knew was using heroin, would you report them?
dm October 03, 2012 at 08:08 PM
Jon, during my time, it was pretty obvious who was using. I'm sure the teachers had some idea... But to answer your question, I probably would not report the users... Anonymous reports never really seem to be too anonymous in this town. I think the problem is that there isn't REAL drug education in the school systems. We spend too much time addressing the "dangers" of marijuana because it's use is so common - among youth and adults. If less time was spent lecturing about marijuana and more time was spent teaching about the risks of drugs like heroin - maybe even have an addict come to the school and give some real life talks - I think there would be less of a problem.
Jon October 03, 2012 at 10:40 PM
That sounds like a good suggestion, dm. Hopefully somebody from the school system will read your idea and consider acting on it. Thanks for your honest opinion.

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