A Step in the Right Direction

Liberty holds a Drug and Mental Health Presentation

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A Step in the Right Direction

Olivia Holler, Co-Editor-in-Chief

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Imagine not waking being able to wake up one day or not being able to breathe. That’s what it feels like to overdose. Teens are more likely to die of overdose than to die texting and driving.
On April 12th at 5:30-8 p.m. Liberty hosted a drug and mental health presentation in the large gym. The purpose of this presentation was to help inform people on drug usage and mental health issues.
There were three presenters; National Council Alcoholism Drug Abuse, Chad Coalition and St. Charles County Ambulance District.
Cassie Morris from NCADA discussed the opioid plant as well as the amount of harm the plant has affected our area. There was 7,012 overdoses in the St.Louis area and nearly have tripled over the years.
“We are only five percent of the world’s population but have consumed 98 percent of the world’s hydrocodone,” Morris said.
She had also talked about the dangers of prescription drugs.
The next presenter was Mark Norwine from Chad Collison. Norwine talked about his personal experiences with mental health and how it ran in the family. He also had talked to the freshmen in more detail the day after the drug presentation. He informed students that 1 out of 4 of us will have a mental illness.
The final presenter was the St. Charles County Ambulance District. Paramedics Lisa Cassidy and Kyle Gaines showed an overdose video and a real 911 call to give students a feel of what paramedics go through as well as the parents involved when an overdose happens. In 2016, they had about 425 calls of people overdosing.
“I want to be able to see the teens graduate, I don’t want to see them take their lives,” Lisa Cassidy said.
To encourage students to go to this presentation, more than 60 teachers have offered extra credit for attending the event. The staff had made it more of an incentive if they go to the presentation.
“It’s important that students had attended this presentation so we can better educate them on substance abuse, coping skills and mental health awareness,” Mrs. Sutherlin said. “This presentation allows for a valuable experience with various organizations are present at one time. The meeting allowed parents and students an opportunity not only to learn about topics, but also exposes them to qualified individuals who can help those in need.”
All students sixth grade and above were invited to come. Mrs. Genenbacher and many other of the Child Development students offered to babysit students fifth grade and under.
The staff encourages everyone to go to be informed on the harms of drugs and how it can affect your mental health.
“We want to continue to educate our community on the effects on drugs and to create an open dialogue for parents and students to talk about these situations and how to work through them,” Mrs. Sutherlin said.
If you have any questions or thoughts about any of these hard topics, you can talk to teachers, counselors and/or someone who is specialized in those areas. The staff is always here to help.
“We are here day in and day out to provide help with mental or drug abuse, if you need help our hope is you won’t suffer in silence,” Mr.Nelson said.