September 13, 2012

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AWARENESS Substance Education program reaches out to school districts

WOODSTOCK – The executive director of the AWARENESS substance abuse education program has begun a new effort to convince school districts in Ulster County to embrace her program.         

Marie Shultis said her peer to peer program can work to keep kids off drugs.

"If students are found to be using drugs or alcohol in school, the common practice is to suspend them with no help or counseling. If you can catch them when they first experiment and keep them in the school, utilizing that time to offer them an alternative, it would give students the incentive to want to participate while having their undivided attention. AWARENESS utilizes an evidence based interview program delivered peer to peer to help students identify their negative behaviors. it really gets them to take a look at what they are doing, many say they didn't realize how much they were using until after completing the first interview. This can help them identify what they need to work on and support them with ways to achieve their goals,., she said.

Shultis this week made a presentation about her program ( to the Onteora School Board.  She plans to bring it to all school districts in Ulster County.

Shultis also said Sheriff Paul VanBlarcum has teamed up with her program to promote the effort to get school districts onboard. She said he has embraced the program since its inception and continually provided a room in the Law Enforcement Center where it is held each month.

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