When celebrity Doctor Mehmet Oz took to the stage in the small NJ town of West New York, he was there to field questions and raise awareness of drug addiction when he received a question from a Hispanic mother that Oz said, “changed his life.”
The woman expressed fear and frustration that the students in her neighborhood, many of whom are dealing with having their parents deported, are struggling with medication addictions and are left without a support system. She said that they are afraid to talk to their teachers, an issue that Oz told NJ Advance Media he had never before considered.
In his interview, Oz said that the mothers’ question went further than exploring the issues that undocumented people face when finding someone to trust, including members of the African-American community and any person who has had past difficulties with the last. Oz said that in this one question he realized how the little town of West New York represents all of America and exposes a key difficulty for young people with depression and who are struggling with addiction to medications.
The event was held at Memorial High School, and the principal there later told the mother, identified as Estella, that the school does possess two substance abuse counselors who would act with complete confidentiality for the student and parent. However, this does not always dispel the key fear that the mother express and Oz understood students face when dealing with authority figures. As part of the event, dubbed a ‘National Night of Conversation’, many other addiction issues were discussed.
Memorial High School is one of 44 high schools across the US which is partnered with Health Corps, Dr. Oz’s health advocacy organization that he compares to Peace Corps for health. As part of Health Corps, the school received a full-time coordinator who gives 8 to 10 weekly guest lessons to the students as part of their health and gym curriculum on topics ranging from stress management to healthy lunches.
Other New Jersey towns that have Health Corps partnerships include Millville and Elizabeth and Memorial High School also participates in independent health-related programming, including drugs in their health classes and assemblies, such as the one that same day where an athlete spoke to students on the effect of a DWI on his life. This panel spearheaded by Dr. Oz was particularly fitting for Memorial High and West New York because of the town’s mayor, Felix Roque, who is a pain relief doctor with a special understanding of prescription drug abuse.
Treating the Addiction that Plagues our Country
As Dr. Oz and many medical doctors throughout the country know, there is a serious problem with unchecked prescription drug abuse happening all over New Jersey. If you or a loved one is facing untreated additions for prescription drug abuse or any illegal drugs as well, you have found a safe and successful detox treatment center here at Discovery. Contact us at 800-714-2175 today to learn how we will work with you to ensure your addiction-free success story.