Operation Survival will be hosting a drug awareness and prevention evening in the Oholei Torah Ballroom on Sunday evening, Jan. 8th, at 7:45pm. Men and women in the community are invited for this special event, dubbed “We Need to Talk About Prevention,” to highlight the need for prevention strategies and an increased awareness and understanding of the drug problem in Crown Heights.
Among the featured speakers are Dr. Brad Reedy, a nationally renowned expert on parenting teens, Lewis J. Abrams, an addictions counselor in the Jewish community, specializing in unique approaches to the drug problem within the Jewish community, and Dr. Eli Rosen, a community doctor and longtime Hatzalah volunteer. A representative of the New York Police Department will clarify the process of reporting drug dealers. There will also be a Q and A session, moderated by Rabbi Shea Hecht, Chairman of the National Committee for Furtherance of Jewish Education.
Several organization including Amudim, MASK, Jewish Board of Family Services and Interborough will have tables at this event, with informational brochures and staff on hand to answer questions about their services.
The event is endorsed by: Amudim, Chesed Shel Emes, Crown Heights Yeshivos, Hatzalah of Crown Heights, MASK, Misaskim, N.C.F.J.E.
The event is being sponsored in the memory of Kasriel Benjamin, OBM.
Drugs: The Elephant in the Room
by Isaac Green
While it’s hard to point to exact statistics, it seems that a growing number of young people from our community are tragically dying from drug overdoses or drug related suicide.
Parents who lose children are unwilling to speak out about drug abuse for a number of reasons, and I believe our educators have taken a very dangerous approach to the issue.
About a decade ago, after I had finished Yeshiva, I approached my former Rosh Mesivta, who I am on friendly terms with, to speak about drug use and addiction.
It was clear from our conversation that he did not begin to grasp the prevalence of the issue. When I told him that at least 50 percent of my grade had tried marijuana, and that a number had abused stronger drugs, he was shocked. I urged him to take a serious look at instituting a drug education and prevention program in his Mesivta. He told me he would look into it.
Some time later, a friend of mine died of a drug overdose. I once again met with my former Rosh Mesivta, to follow up on what he was doing about drug prevention. He explained to me that he had done nothing – because his hands were tied.
“If I bring in an expert to talk about drugs, I will have every parent calling to ask which one of their son’s classmates is a druggie and to throw him out,” he said. The only way he could institute an anti-abuse program is if all the schools agree to do it at the same time.
High school drug prevention programs are not a magic bullet, but an evidence based program must be part of our arsenal for combating drug abuse and educating our children to make healthy choices.
We need to reach out to our schools in support of these programs.
It can be anyone of our children, we simply can’t afford to do nothing.
Operation Survival will be hosting a drug prevention and awareness evening in the Oholei Torah Ballroom on Sunday evening Jan 8th at 7:45pm.
Among the featured speakers are Dr. Brad Reedy, a nationally renowned expert on parenting teens, Lewis J. Abrams, an addictions counselor in the Jewish community,
Man and women are invited to attend.