Uniting with Communities in the Fight Against Substance Abuse
Substance abuse is a serious and increasing public health crisis in Suffolk County. In an effort to raise awareness about the issue, St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center has partnered with The Islip Cluster of School District Superintendent’s “Unite for the Fight: Communities Against Substance Abuse Forum”. The forum was held on Monday, March 30th 2015 at Hauppauge High School—a community driven effort specifically dedicated to the prevention and education of substance abuse among the youth population in the area.
The forum included panelists from community organizations addressing the following topics: “Current Trends in Teen Substance Use…Prevention by Staying Ahead of Your Kids”, “Operation Medicine Cabinet and The Social Host Law”, “The Opiate Express: Legal Responsibilities for Parents and Their Children”, along with a special presentation featuring a mother and son’s personal experience from addiction to recovery.
“We are pleased to collaborate with The Islip School District about such an important health issue—we know firsthand the devastating effects of substance abuse and want to be able to help educate community residents, parents and students about prevention and warning signs,” said St. Catherine’s Director of the Emergency Department Mustafah Khwaja, DO.
This unique partnership between St. Catherine of Siena and Islip Cluster School District further addresses New York State’s Prevention Agenda (2013-2017) priority area, in which statewide efforts are being made to reduce and prevent substance abuse and other mental emotional behavioral disorders through community collaborations. This health prevention priority area has been identified in St. Catherine of Siena’s 2014-2016 Community Service Plan, which can be downloaded online at http://stcatherines.chsli.org/community-service-plan. Additionally, a hard copy can be requested by contacting the Office of Public and External Affairs, 50 Route 25A, Smithtown, NY 11787.
For more resources about prevention, treatment and recovery services, visit Suffolk County Government’s dedicated informational page at http://www.suffolkcountyny.gov/substanceabuse.
Photo (L-R): St. Catherine’s Community Outreach Coordinator Lisa Lasner and St. Catherine’s Director of the Emergency Department Mustafah Khwaja, DO, attended the “Unite for the Fight: Communities Against Substance Abuse Forum” held at Hauppauge High School on Monday, March 30, 2015 to help in the prevention and education of substance abuse among youth.