Written by Joe Scotchie Friday, 29 January 2010 00:00
On Tuesday, Feb. 2, beginning at 7:30 p.m., the East Williston-Roslyn Community Coalition for Drug Free Youth will hold an important program on the heroin addiction problem on Long Island.
“Not My Child” will be held at Roslyn High School, 475 Round Hill Rd. Kristen M. Fexas, Deputy Bureau chief of the Street Narcotics & Gang Bureau, Nassau County District Attorney’s Office will be the guest speaker.
The presentation will focus on the drug problem with the contention that no child in Nassau County is now immune from this growing problem.
As coalition leaders note, heroin addiction is difficult to spot in its early stages. The program is being held mainly to inform parents and educators of the nature of the problem and what prevention measures can be taken. “Heroin addiction is difficult to spot in its early stages,” a coalition flier states. “Learn the signs of addiction and ways to try and combat the problem.”
As a way to highlight the seriousness of the problem, coalition leaders have also included an excerpt from a recent New York Times editorial.
“Heroin is back on Long Island, and it is killing people at a record pace,” stated an editorial in the July 30, 2009 edition of The Times. “The heroin being sold on Long Island is deadlier and cheaper than ever. A bag on the street costs about $6 or $7, less than a pack of cigarettes. What makes the situation so dangerous is the misconception among users that snorting or sniffling heroin, rather than injecting it, will not lead to addiction.”
The coalition’s website features a map of heroin-related arrests made in Nassau County over the past year. The villages with the most arrests, those in the 23-33 arrest range, include Hempstead, Massapequa, Elmont, and neighboring Westbury. Roslyn Heights, Albertson, and Williston Park are in the 1-3 arrest range, while Roslyn and Mineola both fall in the 4-7 arrest category. Neighboring New Hyde Park falls in the 8-16 arrest range.
Such arrests tend to come in bunches and at the same location. On April 22, 2009, for instance, two arrests were made in North Hills, both on the Long Island Expressway. One day later, on April 23, there were no less than five heroin-related arrests made in the Roslyn area, two in Roslyn and three in East Hills. Again, all five arrests were made on the LIE.
The East Williston/Roslyn Community Coalition for Drug-Free Youth was formed in 2006 with a goal to reduce “significantly” the amount of alcohol and drug abuse among young people in the area. The coalition’s purpose is to educate, inform and raise awareness in the East Williston and Roslyn communities to teenage drug and alcohol use and other aspects of risk behavior among young people.
In addition to the Feb. 2 presentation, the coalition will hold meetings on Thursday, Feb. 25 and Wednesday, April 7. The Feb. 25 meeting will be held in the Roslyn School District Administration Building. The April 7 meeting will be held at The Wheatley School.
For more information on the Feb. 2 program, visit that same website, www.EWRCC.org.