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Northern Highlands Students Hear About Opiate Addiction From Users, Police Praise Program

Allendale police officers and AIR speakers.
Allendale police officers and AIR speakers. Photo Credit: COURTESY: Allendale PD

It’s one thing to have authority figures warn schoolkids of the dangers of heroin and opioids, but it’s another when it’s recovering addicts, as students at Northern Highlands Regional High School learned.

Not only that: The speakers were all from schools in the Allendale area.

A key component of the #NotEvenOnce program was the participation of the organization Alumni in Recovery, Police Chief George Scherb said.

“Students had the opportunity to hear from addicts in recovery who shared their real-life experiences with addiction, dependency and their path to recovery,” he said.

#NotEvenOnce is a cooperative effort among the school, police and AIR that was launched last year after being created by Manchester Township police in response to the growing opiate epidemic.

Delivered to the 11th-grade junior health classes, the program “targets at-risk teenagers and focuses on providing comprehensive education” on the problem.

Allendale Officers Paul Stettner, Scott Kuenzel, Kevin Azevedo and Alex Helmer instructed the students on the risks, dangers and consequences associated with opioid drug use.

They also “attested to the program’s effectiveness in reaching its student audience,” the chief said.

Scherb said his department is committed to continuing its participation in the program going forward.

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