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9th Annual “Be Smart About Medicine” Contest Winners Announced


Every day, 2,000 teenagers take a prescription drug recreationally for the first time. Whether through self-medication or a lack of awareness of the risks, prescription drug abuse among adolescents is a growing and serious problem.

To help raise awareness about prescription drug misuse among adolescents, the Coalition for Healthy Communities of Middlesex County has orchestrated its annual “Be Smart About Medicine” poster contest.

Middle school students in grades 6-8 throughout Middlesex County are encouraged to submit artwork, whether through a written story or poem or a drawing, to showcase their freedom of expression as well as spreading valuable information to their peers. At the conclusion of the contest, three winners for first, second and third place are chosen for each grade, and these nine students are honored at the Annual Be Smart About Medicine Awards Dinner.

This year, The Coalition for Healthy Communities celebrated its 9th Annual Awards Dinner on April 10, 2019. This year’s winners include students from the following schools: Crossroads South Middle School of South Brunswick, Carteret Middle School and Sayreville Middle School.

Students were given to opportunity to attend the dinner with their loved ones and receive and certificate and a prize for their work well done.

The Be Smart About Medicine Contest and subsequent Awards Dinner provides both an educational opportunity for our youth, but also brings together students, parents and community members by helping them recognize the importance of the work of prevention and how they can make a difference in their own communities.

Participating schools included: Carteret Middle School, Crossroads South Middle School of South Brunswick, Hammarskjold Middle School, Jonas Salk Middle School, Sayreville Middle School, Wardlaw-Hartridge School, Woodbridge Middle School, and Woodrow Wilson Middle School.

Contest Judges included Rachelle Burk, Children’s Author and Entertainer, Paul Grzella, former General Manager/Editor, Courier News/Home News Tribune/MyCentralJersey.com; and, Ezra Helfand, Executive Director & CEO, Wellspring Center for Prevention.

Pictured above are: (from left) Paul Grzella, former General Manager/Editor, Courier News/Home News Tribune/MyCentralJersey.com, Mandee Dong, Carteret Middle School, Shiven Dhruv from Crossroads South Middle School, Doris Lee, Sayreville Middle School, and Ezra Helfand, Executive Director at Wellspring Center for Prevention


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