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‘Prevention starts on the first day’

BoroAWARE will present 'The First Day' documentary April 25

Alcohol remains the number one drug of choice for Hillsborough’s youth, according to Minda Maggio, district life skills coordinator for the Hillsborough Township Public Schools.

“Based on the statistics from the recent Pride Survey with our high school students, approximately 18 percent report using alcohol,” Maggio said. “That’s why it’s important to get involved in Alcohol Awareness Month, and provide education to our students.”

Hillsborough Township proclaimed April as Alcohol Awareness month at a Township Council meeting earlier this month.

April is Alcohol Awareness Month. This initiative is sponsored by the National Council
for Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) with the goal of raising awareness and
providing resources for treatment in hopes of combatting one of the nation’s largest
health and social crises. The campaign also focuses on reducing social stigma associated with addiction by providing education regarding how the disease can be addressed; offering help and advice for families as well as direct engagement with
those afflicted with alcohol addiction.

“Hillsborough is proud to be a stigma-free community,” stated Mayor Robert Britting. “We will continue to support the efforts that will reduce stigma, increase community awareness, and increase support for individuals and families coping with alcoholism.”

BoroAWARE will be hosting a community event at 7 p.m., Thursday, April 25 at the
Peter J. Biondi Municipal Complex, 379 South Branch Road. The program
will feature a viewing of the 47-minute film screening of “The First Day – the Chris Herren Documentary,” with the opportunity for questions and discussion on youth substance abuse, mental health and social/emotional well-being. Refreshments will be provided and there will be many giveaways.

“The mission of the Hillsborough/Millstone Municipal Alliance also known as
BoroAWARE is to change lives and save lives by empowering our community to help manage and deter substance abuse and related issues through education, awareness,
resource deployment, and advocacy,” said Gil Pilarte, chair of BoroAWARE.

Chris Herren was a high school All-American basketball legend from Massachusetts.
He was living every high school athlete’s dream come true on the outside, but the
overwhelming pressure and expectations that come along with small town fame was a
heavy burden. Like some nay teenagers, Herren turned to alcohol to cope with his emotions, according to a press release on the film screening.

Through the power of storytelling, “The First Day” addresses some of the most difficult issues facing teens today. With substance abuse and addiction being one of the critical
public health issues of the time, there is an urgency to address the epidemic. Listening
to and learning from Chris Herren, who is a former NBA player, and the stories told in “The First Day” is an effective and powerful step towards this goal, according to the press release.

“When it comes to speaking about addiction the focus oftentimes is about the worst day.
We need to focus on how this begins rather than on how it ends. Prevention starts on
the first day,” states Chris Herren.

For additional questions contact Minda Maggio at mmaggio@htps.us.

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