Plymouth: School, Police and Health Officials Focus on Substance Abuse Prevention at PYDC Meeting

In Plymouth, substance use prevention tops the agenda at the Plymouth Youth Development Collaborative, or PYDC meeting on Friday—and the focus was on an initiative called PreVenture. This is a program offered to 8th graders in the Plymouth Public Schools to identify students at risk for substance abuse.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Gary Maestas gave the group, consisting of police, school, health and service provider officials, an update on the PreVenture program, now in its third year. The Superintendent says

PreVenture allows a child to take a personality survey…

“…and that survey helps us to understand their personality a little bit better so we can work with them on how to use the strength of their personality to really make great decisions.”

So, how does that relate to substance use?

“It relates to making really good decisions. So, basically it’s giving them resources and tools to learn their personality, so when they are pushed, they’ll make a decision: should I vape? should I smoke? should I do other things that aren’t going to be good for my life and my future?—I can actually learn how to use my personality and what I bring to the table everyday and make better decisions.”

Police Chief Michael Botieri, one of the originators of the PYDC, has concerns about children and marijuana use because now that it’s legal, there’s confusion about it. Some people have the idea that…

“…once it becomes legalized, you can do it anytime and it doesn’t affect you, and it’s not a health risk—I think education is the key to that, to make sure, you know, the young people are educated on the true facts of the case.”

 

About Bobbi Clark

Bobbi Clark is a Plymouth area reporter at WATD. She began her career in radio as a producer at a news/talk radio station in Chicago. From there she went to WMAQ-TV, the NBC owned and operated television station in Chicago, As a producer there, she won 5 Emmy Awards for production of special programming. Bobbi is a graduate of Emerson College, with a degree in Writing, Publishing and Literature.