Close to 100 middle school age students from the Eliot School and Saint John School attended the annual North End Drug Awareness Day held at Saint John School.
The special event was organized by North End Against Drugs (NEAD) in collaboration with the North End Waterfront Health Center.
“The key message to the students was that help is available if you are having trouble, do not turn to drugs and alcohol,” NEAD President John Romano said. “It never helps, it just compounds the problems or issues you are dealing with,” Romano was one of several speakers at the Awareness Day said.
Both agencies partnered with District A1 Boston Police, Eliot and Saint John Schools and several other agencies to provide critical information, experiences and advice to students in attendance.
“Members of the New Health Recovery Group in Charlestown shared their personal experiences, and situations with the students and asked them not to get involved with drugs or alcohol and never be afraid to ask for help,” Romano said.
Other speakers were: Martha McLaughlin (New Health) spoke on the issues and concerns associated with vaping. Jim Hooley, Director of Boston EMS, and Marybeth Murray a former Probation Officer spoke about her personal issues with alcohol and how it cost her the job. James Luisi, Director New Health also gave a presentation.
The special informational day was organized by Mary Wright and Zach Goodale.
Robin Sidell of North End Grill donated the cost of the event through her neighborhood night of giving this winter.
All speakers donated their time and students were given bags containing information on drugs, alcohol, tobacco and vaping.
NEAD Board members that help organize and participated in the 2019 awareness day were: John Romano, Karen D’Amico, Ann Fitzgerald, Officer Ted Boyle, Steven Siciliano, Maria Lanza, Maria Michelwitz, Olivia Scimeca and Zach Goodale.
New Health staff included were: Norma Reppucci and Lorraine Fitzgerald.
Principals Tracy Griffin, Eliot School and Karen McLaughlin, Saint John School helped organize the student participation in the annual events.