Share This Page

Armstrong County focuses on drug dangers

| Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

Armstrong County District Judge Gary DeComo believes that preventing youths from using harmful drugs starts in the family home but that support from the community is key to success.

That's why he is devoting a week to visiting schools, the YMCA and the county jail to speak to young people about how drugs kill dreams.

DeComo spearheaded drug awareness and prevention events in the county in 1994. Since then, he has planned programs with support from ARC Manor, Armstrong County District Attorney Scott Andreassi, ACMH Hospital and Foundation and through funding from Rosebud Mining Co. and Snyder Brothers.

Last week, the Armstrong County Commissioners declared the week of Jan. 12 as Drugs Kill Dreams week.

“It continues to take an entire countywide prevention effort to protect our youth,” DeComo said in a recent letter to area clergy.

According to DeComo, many heroin addicts are first addicted to prescription pain relievers.

He noted that prevention efforts include keeping prescription pain medication in a secure area and returning all unused or expired medications to any Klingensmith Drug Store next week.

YMCA

This is the first year the Drugs Kill Dreams program has joined forces with the Y, DeComo said.

The drug prevention week kicks off from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday during a free event in the Richard G. Snyder YMCA Campus at 1150 N. Water St., Kittanning, for fifth-grade through eighth-grade area students.

Drug prevention discussion and information will be offered to youth and adults in separate areas. Scheduled activities include swimming, games in the gymnasium and a pizza party.

Participants will have a chance to win prizes including autographed Steeler footballs, an autographed section of the Civic Arena roof, Y youth memberships and gift cards.

Jail

Next week, students ages 10 and older will have the opportunity to participate in an interactive event in the Armstrong County Jail.

It will be the first Drugs Kill Dreams jail experience of the year, depicted by actors, held on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

According to information provided by DeComo, the jail experience is intended to depict the dangers and consequences of using drugs and will show the realities associated with addiction, including arrest and jail time.

Issues concerning drug overdose will be addressed.

Drug and alcohol counselors, medical professionals, members of the judicial system and drug users and their family members will be available to speak with participants.

Pre-registration is required, and the cost is $5 per person. To register, call 724-548-3209 or visit www.arcmanor.org.

Additional Drugs Kill Dreams jail experience events have been planned for April 15, Aug. 12 and a later date yet to be determined.

Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303 or bbeatty@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.