Flanders, Riverside And Northampton Community Notes, April 25

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Our world is changing right in front of our eyes and sometimes I cannot believe how quickly it happens. One of the scariest changes I have observed happening all over the country, and especially here on Long Island, is the abuse of prescription drugs among our children and teenagers.
There are too many stories in the papers, and on the television news, that highlight the tragedies that occur when people are under the influence of illegally prescribed or illegally obtained prescription medications. Fatal accidents, near-lethal overdoses, child neglect incidents and so on. It seems that the world’s drug problems have become too big for even law enforcement to handle. It is a sad and scary statement about today’s society.

Personally, Chuck and I do all we can to show our kids, and their friends, just how bad things can get if you choose the wrong path. We also let them know that no matter what or how big a problem, we are always here, and if that does not seem like an option, then there is always somebody out there who can help. People like those at the Riverhead Community Awareness Program.

Felicia Scocozza, the executive director of the program, is running another seminar at Riverhead High School next week that will address the problem of prescription drug abuse. The program, entitled “Rx for Disaster: Get Smart About Prescription Painkillers and Over-the-Counter Drugs,” was a great success last year and, this year, the program will be aimed at ninth-graders and their parents since they did not participate last year.

The forum will again feature Dr. Alexis Hugelmeyer, the director of community education at Peconic Bay Medical Center and local family physician, and Cathy L., a Long Island parent who lost her 20-year-old son to a drug overdose after an eight-year addiction that started with prescription painkillers.

The program will be presented on Monday, April 29, first during school hours for the students and then again at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium for their parents. Attendance is strongly encouraged for all parents so that you can recognize the signs and be ready to address them immediately.

Participants will also learn how to deal with the growing problem and the crime that comes along with such an addiction. If you would like more information about the program, please call Felicia at (631) 727-3722.

Happy birthday to my hubby, Chuck Rocco, who blew out his candles on Wednesday, April 24. As busy as we all are with dance and baseball and work, we still managed to have a nice dinner and cake to celebrate. Sure, we may have celebrated at 10 p.m., but we fit it in. We love you and hope you have a great year ahead!

More birthday wishes are going out to Taylor Konkel who will turn sweet 16 on Monday, April 29. It seems like just last year that your mom and I were wheeling you and Travis in your strollers to see the Easter Bunny, and now you are growing into a beautiful young lady.

Happy birthday, Taylor! Enjoy your day and save some cake for me! Mom, Dad, Erin and John wish you a fantastic birthday filled with love and hugs and dreams come true.

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