Island task force attends state conference
First Lady Sue Carcieri and Representative Bruce J. Long were joined by members of the Jamestown Substance Abuse Prevention Task Force (Melissa Mastrostefano, Laura Hosley, Stephanie Nocon, and Melissa Minto) at the Crowne Plaza in Warwick last Friday for an all day conference on underage drinking.
The conference, entitled "Substance Abuse Among Teens...Connecting the Dots," sponsored by the Rhode Island Family Court, Attorney General Patrick Lynch, and Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD), was attended by more than 450 interested people, including representatives from law enforcement, Substance Abuse Prevention Task Forces, student assistance counselors, prevention and treatment agencies, legislators and high school students.
James Coppell, of the International Institute of Alcohol Awareness, spoke about the need for factions within the communities to work together. Five components that he suggested help keep children substance-free are hope, locus of control (feeling in control of their lives), significant involvement with adults, acquired skills, and altruism (giving back to others).
The Jamestown community has established a strong prevention network through the collaboration of the police, recreation department (including the teen center), school (including the student assistance program), town council, library, students, substance abuse prevention task force and others. Bruce Long attended the October Task Force meeting and is planning to assist in initiating legislation aimed at reducing underage drinking through environmental strategies, while educating people in the process. Anyone interested in learning more about the Task Force's initiatives can contact Laura Hosley at 423-3317.