The Daily Shrewsbury
By Lindsay Corcoran
SHREWSBURY, Mass. – Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis said he was acting as a messenger for the 90 percent of inmates incarcerated due to drug and alcohol when he visited Shrewsbury High School on Friday to warn students about the dangers of addiction.
“A lot of them tell me they were sitting in auditoriums like this one and were making bad choices when faced with difficult decisions with drugs and alcohol,” Evangelidis said. “They can’t be here, but they want to tell you not to make the same mistakes they did.”
Evangelidis spoke with about 50 Freshmen in his Face2Face program, which uses cutting edge technology and special computer software to simulate the shocking effects substance abuse can have on a person’s appearance over time.
“It is extremely important that young adults see firsthand the damaging effects and devastating results that substance abuse can have on both their appearance and their life,” Evangelidis said.
He used examples of celebrities who’ve been affected by addiction, but also gave real life examples like a live feed of life in a prison cell at the Worcester County House of Corrections.
“When spending life in prison, you lose the right to choose your meals…lose your right to privacy…even loose your right to a toilet seat or a towel,” Evagelidis said.
Evangelidis debunked a lot of myths surrounding drugs and alcohol, including focusing on prescription medications.
“A lot of people don’t think they’re real drugs since they’re prescribed by a doctor, but they can be harmful if abused,” Evangelidis said.
At the end of the presentation, Evangelidis used a computer program to simulate the physical appearance changes that can result from drug and alcohol abuse on several of the students in the presentation room.