Local high school students make television PSAs about opiates

BRISTOL — Teams of students from three Addison County high schools have spent the past two months learning about the dangers of addiction to opiates and heroin. Using that knowledge, each of those teams has crafted a proposed public service announcement to spread the word about the opiate epidemic.
On Monday, May 22, the teams will learn which among them produced the winning Public Service Announcement (PSA) that will be aired on local TV.
As previously reported in the Addison Independent, the PSAs are the culmination of an eight-week optional course spearheaded by the United Way of Addison County and nationally renowned actor Jeremy Holm of Vergennes. Their collaboration produced the “Heroin Epidemic Learning Program (HELP)” program offered to students at Mount Abraham Middlebury and Vergennes union high schools.
Forty students signed up for the eight-week program. The first four weeks of the program were educational in nature, led by local representatives of law enforcement, medicine, family and addiction/recovery services. The second half of the program saw students break into groups and apply what they had learned to create their own PSAs that they have submitted for review and final edit. The HELP committee has selected a winning PSA and two runners-up. The winning PSA will be aired on local TV; the top three groups will win cash prizes.
Mount Abraham Union High School will host the HELP awards ceremony on May 22, from 6-7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

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