Education on Addiction Reaches Hills


Peggy King talks to students about the risks of abusing alcohol and nicotine, particularly over spring break. (Photo by Kirsten Dorman)

Kirsten Dorman, Editor in Chief

As spring break approaches and students get ready to head off to Seaside, the library hosted a showcase to advise and educate students on the dangers of excessive drinking and vape use.  Youth Development Specialist, Peggy King, and Tessie DeCroce, a representative of the Warren hills Community Coalition, seek to ensure that students stay informed about the dangers of substance use without feeling lectured.

At the beginning of the showcase, students were handed a red solo cup on their way in.  Each cup was numbered one through four and throughout the presentation, students with each number stood up to represent statistics concerning binge drinking and vaping.

Though students may feel they know everything there is to know from health class, there are still some facts that may surprise them according to King and DeCroce.  For instance, said King, alcohol can increase your chances of becoming dehydrated, especially as the weather gets hotter.

In fact, it may be that students overlook the dangers of excessive drinking or vaping.

“I feel as though students may not recognize or minimize the dangers of using substances like alcohol or nicotine because of the environment they are in and the social normalities that are around them,” said DeCroce.  “Alcohol and nicotine are glamorized in almost everything that youth are into like music, movies, or ads and those glamorized images don’t always show the negative side effects or long term factors.”

For this reason, it’s important that students keep informed about the long-term effects their choices over spring break could have, said DeCroce.

“I am seeking to inform youth about how their actions affect themselves and everyone around them,” she said.  “Showcases like the one I presented help me reach students to give them enough preventative and evidence based information so they can make the best choices and live a healthy and safe life. Education on addiction is important to end stigmas against those who have an addiction as well as educating them on healthy, substance free choices.”