In their ongoing efforts to educate youth about the devastating effects of drug and alcohol abuse and to stress alternative adolescent activities, North End Against Drugs and the Nazzaro Center recently hosted a workshop at the center conducted by Kevin Sheehan a substance abuse clinician who works in the Criminal Justice Services department of the AdCare Hospital. Kevin is no stranger to the Nazzaro Center. He has two daughters in the youth program and delivered a similar talk last spring. But this time Kevin brought a guest speaker with him, Robert McFarland, a former client. After a brief introduction by Kevin, it didn’t take Rob long to connect with the 33 teens through his stories and anecdotes about a life on drugs. The portion of Rob’s narrative that seemed to have the most powerful effect on the teens was how his choices had such a devastating effect on the people he loved most…yet he still couldn’t stop his destructive behavior! The audience was visibly moved by Rob’s accounts of his criminal activities, his betrayal of family and friends and his ultimate salvation.
Statistically speaking, it is almost certain that a percentage of the 33 youth who attended this workshop will dabble with substance abuse at some point in their lives on some level. Yet, the mandate of NEAD and the Nazzaro Center is to knock that percentage down, hopefully to zero, by whatever means possible. To that end, North End Against Drugs and the Nazzaro Center will continue to sponsor events such as this on a fairly regular basis.