Editorial: Take the Pledge

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Schools across the East End, including Sag Harbor, are taking part in Red Ribbon Week — a national movement aimed at raising awareness about drug use, with events and activities planned to teach students, and the community as a whole, about the benefits of adopting a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.

While Red Ribbon Week is certainly not new — the National Family Partnership has sponsored the National Red Ribbon Campaign since 1985 — given the personal experiences many in the community have had with battling alcohol and drug addiction, it feels more urgent this year.

Between 2009 and 2013, Suffolk County reported more heroin related deaths than any other county in New York State, with studies into the habits of Pierson students showing alcohol and drug use generally higher than state and national averages.

It’s critical that parents, in particular, are proactive in talking to their children, model healthy ways to cope with stress, and are as involved as possible in their children’s lives.

Small steps can go a long way too — SAFE in Sag Harbor has partnered with the Sag Harbor School District on a number of events, including a presentation by comedian and psychologist Matt Bellance on Thursday, October 26, that is open to the community at large. SAFE in Sag Harbor and the Sag Harbor Police Department will also join in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, October 28, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., opening up the Sag Harbor Firehouse on Main Street for residents to turn in unused or expired prescriptions. Statistics show that children and teens do cull drugs from medicine cabinets, but while flushing pills down the toilet will help protect your children, it can also impact the local water supply.

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