District Gathers for “The Ugly Truth”

District Gathers for “The Ugly Truth”

Over 300 families, students, administrators, faculty and Board of Education members from the district banded together at Elwood Middle School on Feb. 1 to learn about prevention and the dangers of drugs from the Suffolk County Police Department. The program titled “The Ugly Truth,” has been shared across Long Island to combat the critical issue of increased drug abuse in the area.

Elwood was the largest audience that the police department has had in 45 presentations. Over 100 individuals also tuned into the program from the live stream at home. Several key speakers including Suffolk County Police Commissioner Timothy Sini, Nassau Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter, New York State Assemblymen Chad Lupinacci and Andrew Raia, Town of Huntington Councilwoman Tracey Edwards and Suffolk County Medical Examiner Dr. Michael Caplan took part in the program.  

Superintendent of School Dr. Kenneth Bossert welcomed the community for coming out for the important evening. “It really gives me great pleasure and satisfaction to see so many community residents, parents, students, faculty and the entire district administration here,” he said. “What you have demonstrated to me is that this is a community that cares about its children. This is not a community that is immune to some of the dangers that we will be talking about tonight.”

Assemblyman Raia stressed the importance of getting involved. “We are making great strides but you are part of the solution,” he said. “Being aware of what is going on around you, the symptoms to look for in not just your kids but your neighbors as well.”

Commissioner Sini provided statistics for the audience and explained how we are in the midst of a drug epidemic. There were 300 fatal opioid related overdoses in 2016 and first responders including the Suffolk County Police administrated Narcan over 700 times in the year. “We need to be fighting this epidemic on all fronts – prevention, treatment, law enforcement and recovery,” he said.  

Those in attendance had the opportunity to receive their own Narcan pack and were educated on how to use it in an emergency situation. Community members also learned about the social host law, emergency hotlines, helpful resources and the extreme consequences of drug abuse on a person’s body. A number of organizations tabled before and after the event to provide more resources for community members. Organizations included the Samaritan Daytop Family Association, Chemical Dependence Services, The Town of Smithtown Horizons Counseling and Education Center and Operation Medicine Cabinet.

At the conclusion of the event, an Apple Watch courtesy of the Elwood Booster club was raffled off to a lucky member of the audience.