Students go ‘Face2Face’ With Substance Abuse

The Daily Auburn
By Tara Johnson

AUBURN, Mass. – Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis has been presenting his Face2Face Program to Middle School and High School students throughout Worcester County.

On Tuesday, he paid a special visit to Auburn Middle School to have a Face2Face meeting with students in the sixth, seventh and eighth grades to discuss the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse.

The Face2Face program is an ongoing part of the Sheriff’s Substance Abuse Prevention and Education Initiative for Worcester County Schools. The Sheriff’s Face2Face system uses cutting edge technology and special computer software to simulate the shocking effects substance abuse can have on a person’s appearance over time, students at Auburn Middle School were able to see firsthand the potential devastating impact drug use can have on their very own classmates.

“As Sheriff I always look forward to spending time in Auburn, I especially enjoyed meeting with students from Auburn Middle School today to present the Face2Face Program. With almost 90 percent of the inmates at the Worcester County House of Correction addicted to drugs and alcohol I have focused on education and prevention as the best way to keep our youth from starting on that direct path to prison.” Evangelidis said.

“This unique drug and alcohol prevention program is tailored to send a powerful message to our students about the devastating effects of substance abuse. As the only Sheriff in the country presenting this program, I am committed to bringing Face2Face to every school district in Worcester County.”

Within the 45-minute presentation, Evangelidis showed students a video clip of an inmate’s daily routine within the confines of a jail cell at the Worcester County House of Correction and graphic before and after photos of inmates, celebrities, athletes and other individuals facing drug addiction.

“We appreciate Sheriff Evangelidis presenting the Face2Face program to the Auburn Middle School today. This was by far the best presentation we have had in discussing the dangers of substance abuse. The videos and testimonial were very powerful and had a tremendous impact on our students. As an educator I highly recommend the Sheriff’s Face2Face program for every Middle School and High School in Worcester County,” Auburn Middle School Principal Joseph Gagnon said.

The Face2Face Program was donated by individuals and businesses who are dedicated to the County’s youth.

In the past few months Sheriff Evangelidis has personally presented Face2Face to Middle and High School students in Worcester, Leominster, Clinton, Leicester, Spencer, Grafton, Southbridge and Sutton.

“Face2Face is an effective and innovative drug prevention program designed to make students think twice before making that bad choice to begin drug and alcohol use,” Evangelidis said.

As the only Sheriff in the country presenting the innovative drug prevention program, Evangelidis is committed to bringing Face2Face to every school district in the county.