Celebrated annually throughout Chester, Deep River, and Essex, High on Life Week will be observed next week, May 1-6, this year as per the three select persons of Chester, Deep River and Essex respectively, Lauren Gister, Angus McDonald and Norm Needleman, who have signed the following Proclamation:
CT State Police report that alcohol and marijuana continue to be used prevalently by young people under 20 in our community. A recent survey of youth indicates that nearly 40% of Valley students use alcohol and about 24% use marijuana regularly. There are also emerging concerns that teens are using prescription drugs recreationally, often with alcohol.
Unfortunately, the communities of Chester, Deep River and Essex are not immune to the current opioid crisis in our nation. Our Resident State Troopers concur that heroin is now the most common drug found among adults over 25 in our towns. Drugs and alcohol affect all of us. Our neighbors, our colleagues, our friends or family members are caught in cycles of using substances to feel better but ultimately succumbing to addiction.
We cannot retreat from any opportunity to enlighten, to inform, and to gain the support of all residents as we work together to ensure that our young people and future generations escape the consequences of lives ruled by substance abuse.
The week of May 1-6 will be such an opportunity. Tri-Town Youth Services will sponsor the 28th annual substance abuse awareness week to educate our communities about drug and alcohol use and abuse and to help people see that life can be enjoyed to its fullest without drugs.
Our unifying theme this year is: “Self-Esteem”. The week’s events will include coordinated school assemblies, fun youth activities and community-wide discussions about substance abuse and other addictive behaviors. Residents are encouraged to attend a Community Breakfast on May 10 from 8-9:30 a.m. at Camp Hazen to discuss local drug trends, share concerns, talk with neighbors about underlying causes and share ideas for connecting with youth and supporting healthy decisions.
Therefore, in recognition of this vital cooperative effort, we, the first selectmen of Chester, Deep River, and Essex, designate May 1-6, 2017 as our tri-town prevention and awareness week and a celebration of our lives free of substance abuse. We sincerely urge all members of our communities to participate in this week’s important activities.