West Springfield resident Kirk Jonah, in a community presentation during National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week. Mr. Jonah discussed the effects of teen substance use on family life from a father’s perspective.
“In 2016, my son Jack passed away in his bedroom from a heroin overdose,” said Mr. Jonah. “Since his death, I have been speaking to groups of parents to share my experience with hopes that I can hopefully prevent any more young people from succumbing to the same fate”, he added.
Since his son’s death in 2016, Mr. Jonah has been advocating awareness of issues related to opioid addiction, especially as it relates to youth and family. “I want every family to understand the impact this had on our family and his friends” said Jonah. “I am hoping that with my public appearances, I can help other parents identify warning signs of abuse and guide them to learn to prepare to be able to handle an addiction before it’s too late.
From now until March 6th the Operation Prevention Video Challenge is accepting entries! This challenge provides high school students with the opportunity to create a 30-60 second PSA about the dangers of prescription opioid misuse. Prizes include scholarships up to $10,000 and a trip to Quantico, VA for an exclusive tour of DEA training! Check out this local news announcement and keep an eye out for it airing on the three Western Mass News Stations: Channel 40 (ABC), CBS 3 Springfield and Fox 6!
Local West Side resident and CARE Coalition member, Kirk Jonah, appeared as a guest on, In the Spotlight, with Superintendent Michael Richard, where he discussed the impact of the opioid epidemic, including his family's own experience, and his upcoming presentations to spread awareness during National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week.
WSHS DA Youth Advisory Board/CARE Steering Committee members Devin Svec, Haley Riddles and Alleyna Pitaso were guests on, In the Spotlight, with Superintendent Michael Richard, where they discussed their role on the YAB, CARE Steering Committee, and issues affecting high school students.
Carolee McGrath sat down with West Springfield School Superintendent Michael Richard, CARE Director of Programming Christine Beaumont, and CARE board member John Weiss to learn about the CARE Coalitions continued education efforts surrounding the opioid epidemic, in our community.