MASTIC BEACH, N.Y. (CBS 2) — First there was the heroin explosion plaguing the suburbs and killing kids.
Now one Long Island school district has devised a plan, the first of its kind, to get its addicted students help.
CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reports on plans for a drug rehab clinic inside a high school.
William Floyd High School is home to 3,200 students. It will soon be home to the only drug treatment center in New York State.
“Parents have been begging us for help. We now have something that we really feel can assist their kids,” Floyd School District Superintendent Paul Casciano said.
“We have students who are substance abusers. They are already here. And we need to help them.”
A series of highly publicized heroin deaths that swept Long Island is prompting change. After 38 students at Floyd underwent drug hearings, followed by dozens of long-term suspensions, the school board voted to bring in help.
“We are bringing the services to them so that they have instant access to it. And it doesn’t have to build to a crisis,” said Caroline Sullivan of Daytop Adolescent Outreach.
Sullivan explained to CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan that the non-profit Daytop Outreach has been selected to run the program inside the high school at no expense to the district.
Services are confidential and anonymous, set up inside the academic counseling center. No drugs will be dispensed and only students in the district will receive counseling and treatment.
“There’s a lot of sad stories. We lose a lot of people to drugs,” one student said.
“We realize there’s a problem and we’re forming a plan to help it,” another added.
“I think the people who want to get help will, considering it’s anonymous,” another said.
Long Island’s council on drug dependence calls the move groundbreaking.
“There’s a huge increase in heroin use among kids. We are watching more than 350 kids die a year due to overdoses — on Long Island, in Nassau and Suffolk,” executive director Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds said.
Experts McLogan spoke with are urging superintendents everywhere to follow this as a model and open a drug treatment clinic inside every high school on Long Island.
Students can pay for the drug counseling through their parents’ health insurance, but no child will be turned away. Federal and state grants will help subsidize the clinic.
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