On Wednesday, June 6, North End Against Drugs (NEAD) and North End Waterfront Health (NEW Health) held their annual drug awareness day for students and teachers at the Saint John and Eliot Schools. The goal of the event was to make students aware of the dangers of drugs and alcohol and to stress the importance of making good choices. Over one hundred 6th, 7th and 8th grade students attended the event hosted by Saint John’s School.
This incredibly important 2 hour program began with an introduction from NEAD President John Romano and NEW Health Executive Director James Luisi and consisted of a speaking program which featured members of NEW Health’s substance addiction recovery program. Event speakers also included Massachusetts State Representative, Aaron Michlewitz; Assistant District Attorney, Greg Henning; Steven Siciliano Chief of Probation at South Boston District Court and the Suffolk County Probation Office; Boston Police Officer, Teddy Boyle and members of Boston’s undercover drug police squad; and NEW Health physician, Martha McLaughlin.
Each speaker spoke about the dangers associated with drug and alcohol use from his or her own life or professional perspective, and all made it clear that making good choices matters. The NEW Health recovery group – led by NEW Health recovery coach, Lorraine Fitzgerald – told true stories about their personal struggles with addiction. Other speakers detailed the duties of their jobs in relation to drug and alcohol use.
Following the presentations, the kids were gifted with special bags donated by North End Against Drugs through their annual grant from Eversource and NEW Health filled with information about staying away from the use of drugs and alcohol. The bags were also filled with various other goodies for the kids.
Special thank you to those in attendance who helped make the day possible: Mary Wright, Zach Goodale, Maria Bova, Luisa Siniscalchi, Ann Fitzgerald, John Romano and other members of the NEW Health staff and North End Against Drugs Board Members who could not be in attendance.