For those in the Kings Park community who don’t know who we are, we will start our first blog by informing you and letting you know about our successfull initiatives over the course of the last five years. Thereinafter, we will be blogging monthly to keep Kings Parkers apprised of the youth drug and alcohol problem and critical information we get from our friends in law enforcement and the addiction and prevention field.
I have had the great privilege of acting as President of KPITK for the last 4 ½ years. I am proud and honored to say that as of January 17th’s meeting, Kim Revere is our new President. I am excited about the ideas our new board members have regarding working working with the kids and their ideas about prevention. Welcome: Melissa McDougal, Denise Mullin and Michelle Stein.
Kings Park in the kNOw began when a bad batch of heroin killed a few kids in Kings Park and Northport. At that time, Long Island’s youth heroin was LI's dirty little secret, so few knew it existed. Unless you’ve been living under a rock at the
Bluff, you all know our region (Suffolk and Nassau) has a large and very nasty
youth opiate and heroin epidemic. Some experts and members of the press are calling Long island the epicenter of the country’s youth opiate epidemic.
So five years ago a small group of Kings Park parents, businessmen and school officials got together to do something about it. Our main goal is to eradicate destructive decisions for the youth of Kings Park because every single child in this
community is precious to us and we will do anything to keep them safe. Those destructive decisions include drug use and underage drinking. Studies from the top addiction experts locally and nationally tell us that the younger a child takes in an addictive type substance (drugs, alcohol), the more likely they will become addicted. As adolescents, there brains are not fully developed.
KPITK works extensively with families of addicted kids and young adults in our
community, we help get sick kids treatment and help their parents find the
support they need as well. We also work to prevent the nightmare of addiction of affecting other families through educating parents and youth every fall when we hire some of the best speakers in the region. However, to stay educated
throughout the year, check out our Face book page for the latest articles from
addiction and prevention experts in the region and around the country. We post articles, podcasts and webinars.
We have been involved extensively with legislation and have stood by local and state officials to support several critical pieces of legislation, one of the most important ones recently passed unanimously in the House and Senate. It’s called the I-Stop Bill and it mandates that all doctors and pharmacies have a 24/7 online system to track certain addictive prescriptions. We have called for this for five years and believe this will put a halting stop to doctor shopping where Johnny goes to Dr. A on a Monday for Percocet and Dr. B on aTuesday for vicoden. The system should be up in running in about a year.
We also have a tip hotline so anyone can anonymously call in tips if they suspect drug dealing. It’s a brand new number and goes directly to our friends in law enforcement. We’ve had dozens of very productive tips that have led to many arrests. We know we can’t stop drug dealing but we want to send a strong message to the dealers that if they deal in Kings Park, they will get caught!
We have also spent over a hundred hours at the tables of the best
and brightest minds in prevention and addiction in the region and have spoken to
communities around the Island. We are happy to say there are over thirty groups like our in Suffolk alone.
We also work to educate people in our own community and go around to all the local civic and fraternal organizations like: Kings Park Civic, Hibernians, Sons of Italy, KPY, Catholic Daughters, and The KP Chamber etc. Our goal is simple - we want to keep everyone in the know!
We have become well-known in the Press writing Op-Eds for Newsday and other publications and early last year, appeared in a local documentary with Senator Flanagan. On several we have been intervieweed by local news programs.
We have creative events for H.S. students, this spring we will
have an Arts in the Park contest where kids can create movies, poetry and art about Destructive Decisions, there will be an award ceremony and monetary
Lastly but certainly not least, we have advocated consistently
for evidence-based prevention programs in our schools. We presently have Too Good for Drugs being utilized in 8th grade and in some H.S. Health classes. In addition the district also utilized an outstanding health curriculum called HealthSmart who’s many themes parallel prevention themes.
Stay tuned, we’ll bringing you updates every month here on Kings Park Patch. In the mean time, take out your cell phone and enter our hotline number. If you see
something say something, the life you could be saving could your own family
member. You don’t know what block that kid who just scored or got high is going to drive down. HOTLINE 631-899-2448.
Your friends at Kings Park in the kNOw: Tony Leteri, Kim Revere, Maureen Rossi,
Debbie Danley, Melissa McDougal, Regina Kempster, Kevin O’Hare, Debra Abramowicz, Denise Mullin, Michelle Stein