Vernon Coalition shows appreciation


Make text smaller Make text larger



Photos



  • PHOTOS BY VERA OLINSKI Becky Carlson speaks of the importance of the youth.




  • Rylee Smaldone leads attendees through an activity.




  • Becky Carlson speaks of the importance of the youth.




SUSSEX BOROUGH — Around 50 Vernon Coalition members and dignitaries were honored, Oct. 1, at the Vernon Coalition Appreciation Dinner. Dinner was served by the Lamp Post Inn of Sussex.

Vernon Coalition Youth Coordinator Christine Grimaldi thanked the room for helping them in their mission to reduce substance abuse among youth and create a stronger Vernon and community.

Vernon Coalition student Rylee Smaldone, along with other students, encouraged attendees to answer what is the most important component to building a stronger Vernon.

Members responded with answers such as, “Teamwork, a community without drugs, and parental involvement.” Smaldone respectfully disagreed and said, “YOU,” are the answer.

Vernon Coalition Senior Coordinator Rebecca Dorney said four of the student participants had attended a leadership conference during the summer and would attend another in the near future. She continued, they just need to give students the strength and support to come together as an entire school and community.

N.J. Senator Steve Oroho spoke of how important the subject of youth substance use and abuse was; and commented, “We all know people who we've lost because of this.” He reminded attendees to talk with youth and commended the coalition about educating people through bringing families together for family activities.

N.J. Assemblyman Hal Wirths thanked everyone in the room for their community involvement, including law enforcement, the board of education, Mayor Harry Shortway, radio station, small business, large businesses, along with the Lamp Post Inn owner Sal Santonello. He commented about the horrible opioid epidemic problem facing the state and country, “This is a real problem – it's killing tens of thousands of people.”

Sussex County Prosecutor Francis Koch confirmed Wirths' comments by saying in 2016: 64 K Americans died from an overdose death — 175 people a day; and in 2017: 72K-197 people a day. He continued, in each of those years, more people died from overdose deaths than the 58K Americans who died during the entire Vietnam conflict and war.

Candidly Koch said the epidemic started with pharmaceutical, when they lied to doctors about over-prescribing opioids, saying it was a miracle drug and not addictive. Instead of curing all ills, Koch said, it caused all these problems.

Koch said the N.J. state law reducing opioid prescriptions from 30 to five days was so important, because the average human brain becomes addicted within 20 days.

He concluded, they need to make it prevention, because prevention is “a thousand times cheaper and a million times easier than getting someone into recovery.” Recovery is possible, Koch said, but preventing people from substance abuse disorders is key.

The Executive Director for the Center for Prevention and Counseling Becky Carlson said she was excited about the many people present and how the coalition keeps growing. She remembered Vernon Coalition's beginning in 2010 when 12 people gathered together after the overdose deaths of five young people from the same graduating class. She recognized two of the original 12 who also attended the dinner: Janet Kubik and Jeanne Buffalino.

Carlson continued, the recent community survey showed the numbers are coming down, and there is a lot of awareness and community involvement. Her answer to building a stronger Vernon, she said, was the youth, along with all the different sectors being involved throughout the year.

Vernon Township Police Department Captain Dan Young spoke of underage drinking, reminding everyone that they are all role models, as young people watch them all the time.

He explained there are three types of parents regarding alcohol: absolutely no alcohol allowed; drink and learn in the home; and drink as much as wanted.

Young reminded everyone to always know where their kids are, and what they are doing. In addition, he suggested knowing their kids' friends and communicating with their kids' friends' parents.

He also suggested ground rules for parties like: no alcohol, know who is coming, and do not post the party on social media. Young recommended being home for the party — close enough to see what's happening, but far enough away to give space. In addition, he said, if someone appears drunk or sick, call the parents or other help immediately.

Additional recommendations included: controlling the availability of alcohol in the home — locking it up and preventing easy access, and paying attention to one's children, including on social media.





Make text smaller Make text larger

Comments

Pool Rules



MUST READ NEWS

Cedar Mountain hosts heart challenge
During the week of Feb. 11, Cedar Mountain Primary School held the Kids Heart Challenge in order to raise funds for the Heart...
Read more »
Image

James LaCarrubba
James LaCarrubba, 76, of Lake Wallkill, passed away at home on Feb 6, 2019. James was born Nov.18, 1942, in West New York, N.J., to Charles and Mary (Taormina)...
Read more »

Legislators address Vernon dump
Senator Steve Oroho, and Assemblymen Parker Space and Hal Wirths (all R-Sussex, Warren, Morris) released the following statement...
Read more »
Image

Maple Sugaring open house planned at Lusscroft Farm
WANTAGE — The volunteers at the Lusscroft Farm Sugar Shack will show visitors how to make Maple Syrup from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on March 23 and 24.
Watch live...

Read more »

VIDEOS



Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Community Newspapers



MOST READ

Local News
Troop celebrates Scout Sunday
  • Feb 8, 2019
Entertainment
Eric Clapton tribute band coming to Sussex
  • Feb 8, 2019
Police & Fire
Police: Wantage woman made bomb threats
  • Feb 13, 2019

MOST COMMENTED



Find more about Weather in Lafayette, NJ