Superintendent David DiBarri
100 Hemlock Road
Wakefield, MA 01880
For Immediate Release
Friday, May 5, 2017
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Northeast Metro Tech Holds Assemblies on Opioid Awareness, Brings in Speakers Affected by Addiction
WAKEFIELD — Superintendent David DiBarri announces that two speakers from Teen Challenge New Hampshire spoke to students at Northeast Metro Tech about how opioid addiction has affected their lives.
Teen Challenge New Hampshire provides clinical counseling and support to adults, teens and families struggling with drugs, alcohol and other life-controlling problems.
Northeast Metro Tech’s assemblies come after a group of students attended the New Hampshire Youth Summit on Opioid Awareness in March. Put on by the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation, the event was designed to educate middle and high school students about the dangers of opioid addiction while promoting the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. There, students listened to a series of speakers directly affected by opioid addiction, including athletes and parents who lost their children to overdoses.
Following the summit, students wanted to have similar speakers present to the entire student body at Northeast Metro Tech. Working with Zach Brewster, Resident Life Supervisor at Teen Challenge New Hampshire, Northeast Metro Tech brought in speakers Sean Vandell, Wade Desrosiers, Jeff Sallies and David Scholtz, who shared their real-life stories about how opioid addiction has impacted their lives.
“The speakers put a name and face to addiction, which is a powerful educational tool for students to better understand the many facets of this disease,” Superintendent DiBarri said. “We would like to thank Teen Challenge New Hampshire for coordinating with us to have speakers share their very personal stories with students.”
Seniors and sophomores attended the presentation on April 24, with juniors and freshmen on May 2. The presenters told students about their struggle with addiction — how it landed them in jail and affected their relationships with family.
“They talked about overdoses and withdrawal. It was real, it wasn’t sugar coated,” said Athletic Director Don Heres, who attended the opioid summit with students in March and helped organize the assemblies. “These are real people who have struggled with addiction, and their stories really impacted students and teachers. They gave very powerful and impactful presentations.”
Additionally, before the end of the year, students will watch the movie “If Only,” a short film that highlights the negative effects of prescription drug abuse and opioid addiction.