Addresses drug and alcohol trends among today’s youth
January 23rd, 2023
[Auburn] – Since 2013, overdoses involving the drug fentanyl have skyrocketed in the United States. In 2020, over 60,000 citizens died due to an overdose involving the drug. Sheriff Evangelidis’ longstanding Face2Face program aims to divert today’s youth through advocacy and education on today’s latest drug trends. Face2Face is an enthusiastic and modern-day approach to connect with students through the use of videos, pop music, and real-life examples of the before and after effects of substances on the human body. The Sheriff’s presentation focuses on the dangers of illicit substances and their extreme potency in the unregulated market. Evangelidis also focuses on the myths and facts of popular trends among today’s youth, such as vaping, consumption of alcohol, and sharing of prescription medications.
Earlier this month, Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis delivered the Sheriff’s Department’s Face2Face interactive presentation to the 7th and 8th graders at Auburn Middle School. Since the program’s inception during the Sheriff’s first term in office, Sheriff Evangelidis has brought the program to nearly every school district in Central Massachusetts and subsequently impacted over 400,000 students.
“We are grateful to Sheriff Evangelidis for taking the time to talk to our kids about the dangers of drugs and alcohol,” commented Gregg Desto, Principal of Auburn Middle School. “The thing is, for all the differences between us and today’s kids, they will face pressures to engage in drug and alcohol abuse just like we did.”
“With almost 90 percent of the inmates at the Worcester County Jail and House of Correction addicted to drugs and alcohol, the program focuses on education and prevention as the best way to keep our youth from starting on that direct path to prison,” commented Sheriff Evangelidis. “This program is tailored to send a powerful message to our students about the devastating effects of substance abuse and how one bad decision can change the course of your life.”
The Face2Face presentation breaks down the dangers and consequences of using a wide array of substances, including alcohol, nicotine, prescription opioids, and many illegally produced substances. Evangelidis also presents first-hand examples of how a ‘good time’ can get out of hand quickly with the use of illegal substances.
The Sheriff also identified many celebrities, like Mac Miller, Marilyn Monroe, and Prince, who lost their lives to addiction or substance abuse, and famous personalities who have struggled with the condition for years. Evangelidis’ presentation also includes a section that shows the negative impact of these substances on a person’s appearance. Before and after photos reveal the visually apparent rapid decline in health when addicted to substances. In as short as a year, subjects develop acne, dull skin, hair loss, discolored teeth, and lose significant body mass.
Evangelidis ends his presentation with one final slide that reads, “IT’S UP 2 U.” The Sheriff encouraged students to make the right decisions, ask questions, and decide what legacy they want to leave behind. He reminded students that they write their own futures.
“This program is not about “preaching” at them or talking down to them,” commented Mr. Desto. “It’s about giving them the right information so they know the possible consequences of the decisions they will make when the time comes. And it’s done in a way that engages the students, not an easy thing to do with 13-14-year-olds.”
“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,” Evangelidis said.
For more information on the Face2Face program and scheduling, please contact Eric Eisner at EEisner@sdw.state.ma.us.
Sheriff Evangelidis addresses the Auburn Middle School 7th & 8th grade classes on the myths of drug and alcohol use.