NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

March 16, 2013

Straight talk on drugs

Parents, residents urged to remain vigilant

SEABROOK — Mike Magliaro wants to arm his boys with information on the dangers of drugs.

Magliaro and his two sons were among the dozens of people who attended a drug forum Thursday night hoping to learn how to prevent the town’s children and residents from turning to a life of substance abuse.

“I brought my boys here tonight because I wanted them to be exposed to information about drugs,” Magliaro said. “It was actually pretty interesting.”

Nicholas, 14, and Domenic, 11, sat beside their dad and listened intently to Seabrook CVS pharmacist Alison Mollica, Seabrook Detective Brett Walker and others speak of the deadly world of illicit drug use.

After, the boys both said what they learned was important, explaining that they had already heard classmates discussing smoking things they shouldn’t be thinking about inhaling.

Seabrook has seen its share of teenagers and adults lost to drug overdoses. For years, police have worked to curb the actions of dealers and inform the public of the risks of drugs. Local schools have offered curriculum to help kids make smart decisions involving drugs or alcohol.

Thursday night’s forum was the first joint effort on the subject involving police and the Seabrook Watchdogs, a neighborhood watch group. But it won’t be the last, according to Seabrook police Chief Lee Bitomske.

Bitomske said the drug problem didn’t pop up overnight and it won’t be stopped overnight. It’s going to take a team effort, he said.

The illegal use of prescription drugs like Oxycontin, Vicodin, fentanyl, morphine, codeine, Adderall and Ritalin; illegal drugs like heroin, crack, cocaine and marijuana; and the new designer drugs like “bath salts” and synthetic marijuana were all discussed.

Mollica said she didn’t think twice about taking part in a session that would delve into the national epidemic of prescription drug abuse that’s exploded over the past decade.

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