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Drug abuse prevention efforts in Irondequoit grow as prom and graduation season nears

May 1, 2018

A group formed in Irondequoit is working to cultivate a drug-free lifestyle among its young people, as the school year heads into prom, ball and graduation season.

Members of the Drug-Free Irondequoit Together coalition, or D-FI, (pronounced defy) Irondequoit say they’re working to implement programs related to prevention, education, and reduction of youth substance abuse.

Town Supervisor David Seeley says the group brings a variety of stakeholders to the table each month to discuss community solutions.

And that includes keeping parents informed on the most recent trends in drug distribution systems.

“It’s the different way they can be administered, some of which are hidden in plain sight.  Some of which are conventional things that are sold over the counter and are perfectly legal, but can be transformed into an administrator of drugs,” he says.

Seeley admits there’s no such thing as a drug-free school, but that’s the goal of the coalition.

Irondequoit Police Chief Richard Tantalo and members of the Drug-Free Irondequoit Together Coalition
Credit Alex Crichton

D-FI Irondequoit consists of counselors, school superintendents, social workers, students and others.

They cited statistics from the Monroe County Youth Risk Behavior Survey, which is validated by the Centers for Disease Control.

It shows teen smoking rates are down, but vape or e-cigarette use is on the rise.

And a third surveyed have used marijuana while 21 percent have identified as using it in the past month.

But coaltion members emphasized that THC levels in today's marijuana is much higher than in the past.

Substance Abuse Prevention Counselor in the West Irondequoit School District, Lyndsay Snyder, says the district does everything in its power to prepare students to make healthy choices.

“Starting from kindergarten, we have lessons in healthy choices, medication safety, what is a cigarette, what is alcohol, it started from kindergarten with our students,” she says.

Snyder says the education efforts continue through high school, where they are not only taught about healthy choices, but how to get help for someone they know who may have a problem with substance abuse.

She says if there is an incident of substance abuse on school grounds, the goal then is intervention, and not punishment.

The Drug-Free Irondequoit Together coalition is chaired by Ginny Nacy, who lost a son to opioid abuse.

She says this is not just a school problem, it’s a community problem, and it’ll take a community effort to prevent potential problems for our young people.

West Irondequoit School Superintendent Jeff Crane joins East Irondequoit CSD Supervisor Susan Allen to talk about the drug issue, which he says is a community problem:

Irondequoit Town Supervisor David Seeley talks about the work of the Drug-Free Irondequoit Together Coalition, or D-FI: