United Way funding fueling drug education in local schools

Editor's Note: Throughout the next two months, the various community agencies that receive funding under the St. Marys Area United Way will be highlighted. The organization's fundraising campaign has been extended and now concludes on Jan. 15. --Drug abuse, long thought of as only an inner-city plight, has reached epidemic proportions in small towns across America. With drug use increasing among teens nationwide and in particular rural youth, a local alcohol and drug abuse treatment provider is working to educate local students in how to avoid the pitfalls of substance abuse through outreach efforts made possible by funding through the United Way. Jennifer Young, prevention supervisor with Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services, Inc., (ADAS) in Elk County, said the program is based on "building life skills" and gives students the tools necessary to avoid the hazards of peer pressure surrounding drugs and alcohol.