BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Eighth grade students at Bangor School District's Doughty and Cohen Middle Schools gathered in their auditoriums today, not for class, but for a candid conversation about drugs and alcohol.
December 3rd is the State of Maine's Department of Education's annual alcohol awareness day. In honor of that registered nurse and motivational speaker, Linda Dutil, visited the Doughty and Cohen schools to talk with students about the dangers of abusing drugs and alcohol and what the outcomes can be. Dutil refers to her talks as positive and engaging, as opposed to the scared-straight approach. "Part of my message is helping the students realize that they have the power to make good choices and no one can take that away from them," says Dutil.
One of Dutil's tactics is to demonstrate to students what happens in the emergency room during a drug overdose or alcohol poisoning situation. Eighth grader Grace Perron was invited on stage during the assembly at the Doughty School to assist in a demonstration of what happens when someone's stomach needs to pumped after an overdose. "I would not want any of that stuff to happen to me," said Perron referring to the effects of drugs and alcohol. "It affects the way you act, how you do in school, what your career might be so I wouldn't want that to happen to me."
Dutil also showed pictures of how the appearance of someone who is addicted to drugs changes over time, and also how their teeth can be rotted as a result of that addiction.
Dutil, a Waterville native, has been speaking with students about the topic for the last 15 years. According to her website, www.dose-of-reality.com, Dutil has presented her program to over 250,000 students in 44 states.