Due to recent concerns about drug possession and use within Bethlehem High School, Phil Mullett’s recent presentation on teen substance abuse to the community may have taken on extra significance.
Mullett, a certified mental health counselor, planned to discuss non-drug items that teens are using to simulate getting high during a presentation Tuesday, Nov. 29, at the Delmar Presbyterian Church. While Mullett detailed peculiar trends such as teens sniffing nutmeg and pouring vodka into their eyes, there wasn’t a discussion had among the 25 parents and community members in attendance that didn’t relate to recent developments at the high school.
During the week of the Thanksgiving holiday, five teens were arrested at Bethlehem High School for charges relating to possession of methadone and marijuana. Three teens were also rushed to the hospital after apparent overdoses.
One parent posed a concise question to Mullett during the hour-long presentation.
“Where would you see the next step for us as a community given the recent events of the past week?” she said.
Mullett, who most recently worked with kids in Pittsfield, Mass., stressed the importance of the entire community getting involved.
“I think it would be helpful to set up some counseling outside of school hours at another location, maybe working with churches or other agencies in the community,” said Mullett, who added that it is important for kids to talk about what happened.
Mixed in with conversations of the increased use of synthetic marijuana, sold under names like K2 or Spice, parents and community members expressed concerns about what they’ve seen in the community.
“There are numerous teenagers in the middle of the day, during school time, that are at the end of the road smoking, drinking, and some of them are just congregating and not necessarily doing something illegal,” said one Delmar resident who lives near the high school.