SHAI Substance Abuse Education Initiative

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Participants included Superintendent Teresa Prendergast, UPTC copresidents, SHAI board members and panelists.
Participants included Superintendent Teresa Prendergast, UPTC copresidents, SHAI board members and panelists.

By Rebecca Harounian Cohenmehr

The Sephardic Heritage Alliance (SHAI) and United Parent Teacher Council (UPTC) recently presented a forum on Substance Abuse and Teens at Great Neck North High School.

Panelists included Nassau County Police Detective Pam Stark and Great Neck Public School licensed/certified social workers Malka Rahmanan, Oana Scholl, Joan Greenberg and Shahnaz Goldman.

They were honored to have Councilwoman Anna Kaplan and Superintendent of Great Neck Schools Dr. Teresa Prendergast join them as members of the audience.

Pam Stark with Social Workers Malka Rahmanan, Oana Scholl, Joan Greenberg, Shahnaz Goldman and Rebecca Harounian Cohenmehr
Pam Stark with Social Workers Malka Rahmanan, Oana Scholl, Joan Greenberg, Shahnaz Goldman and Rebecca Harounian Cohenmehr

Detective Stark was very informative as she spoke about the opiate/heroine epidemic. She highlighted the connection between pain killer usage and heroine addiction. She also mentioned that many people aren’t aware that very often, mari-juana is laced with heroine. Drug pushers use this trick to hook their unsuspecting clientele who use/abuse marijuana and then get addicted to the drug. The social workers explored the signs and symptoms of substance abuse, as well as prevention and intervention techniques. They also spoke about the normal ups and downs of adolescence, asking parents and caretakers not to be vigilant, but weary of changes in behavior and social circles.

This educational event was well-attended and well-received. SHAI and UPTC look forward to future partnerships. For more information provided by the social workers, go to www.drive.google.com/file/d/0b34hqglflmucvfhzlxzxrm9yzve/view or visit www.police.co.nassau.ny.us and scroll down to “Impact.”

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