Parents Attend Caron Organization’s Presentation on Substance Abuse


Leilani Lespiegle

Parents pay close attention to the Caron Foundation presentation in the D.H.H. Lengel auditorium. The presentation focused on the dangers of substance abuse. “It was nice to see a variety of people from the community attend,” Tiffany Hummel, high school principal, said.

On Monday September 17, the Caron Foundation presented to parents from throughout Schuylkill county at Pottsville D.H.H. Lengel middle school. The presenter, Allison Odin talked about substances that teens commonly abuse such as alcohol, marijuana, cigarettes, vapes and caffeine, as well as strategies for dealing with substance abuse. A majority of the presentation was spent on vaping, because it is the newest and most popular substance trend among teens.

    Dr. Jeffery Zweibel, Superintendent, said, “We want to educate our community, especially the parents, as much as possible about the dangers that our students face today.”

    According to the presenter, the real danger with vaping is that no one knows exactly what it does to the body. A vape substitutes aerosol in place of the tar found in a cigarette, but still delivers high doses of nicotine. The current generation of children are the “guinea pigs” for learning the effects of vaping. While it is possible that vaping is less harmful than smoking, it is also possible that it is more dangerous than smoking.

    Junior Dennis Asanache described the prestation as “eye-opening” and “very informative.”

    During the question and answer time of the presentation, Ulga Asancahe, Dennis’ mother, said to the group that she had discussed substance abuse with her son before and that the presentation was very helpful in giving her information.

    Because many parents are already familiar with the negative effects of underage drinking and marijuana use, the presenter spent her time on these topics teaching parents strategies for helping students who abuse these drugs. The most dangerous item in this category discussed was a synthetic drug, carfentanil. While it takes 30 mg of heroin for most to die of an overdose, it only takes .02 mg of carfentanil.

    Adrian Portland, a parent and high school teacher, said “The problem with synthetic drugs is that they are constantly changing. They’re constantly being tweaked and altered and when people try to put them into their bodies, they have no idea what’s in it!”

    There were about 30 parents in attendance that night. The presentation itself lasted for about an hour, but eager parents asked questions for a half an hour more.

    Tiffany Hummel, high school principal, said, “It was nice to see a variety of people from the community attend.” Mrs. Hummel is currently trying to find time for Odin to give a presentation to the students.