Rhinebeck group seeks town support in anti-drug effort

RHINEBECK — The Town Board on Monday was asked to work with the recently formed Community Coalition for Rhinebeck Youth to help stem growing abuse of over-the-counter medications as well as a resurgence in hard street drugs.

The request was made during a Town Board meeting where organizer Anne McGrath said a group of about 30 community leaders were brought together recently to review material coalition members have gathered over the past year.

“It’s not that they came so recently, they’ve been here for a while, but I guess it was new to us as we began to look and became aware, we became more and more alarmed at the drugs that were out there,” she said.

“There’s highly addictive substances the likes of which that were really not around when we were young,” McGrath said. “Heroin is prevalent. Prescription drug abuse is prevalent. Cough syrup abuse. Things that kids can get in their medicine cabinet very easily. Some kids said to us that it’s actually easier to get illegal drugs than it is alcohol because you don’t need a fake ID to get the drugs, and that was very, very disturbing.”

Group members acknowledged that efforts will need to be ongoing to avoid being caught by surprise in the future.
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Information about the group is available by e-mail at annemcgrath@frontiernet.net.