On Tuesday, March 28, 2023, the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) hosted an educational program at Howard High School called Student Drug Use: A Crisis We Can’t Ignore. This event was intended to open a dialogue about how substance use is affecting HCPSS students, and what parents, educators, and community members can do about it. HCPSS Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano lead the event, expressing his deep concern for the substance use the school system is witnessing within the student body. While discussing the challenges and statistics, Dr. Martirano explained that the school system would like to attempt a more integrative, community-driven approach to managing substance use among minors.
After the Superintendent’s update, attendees were invited to participate in breakout sessions covering a variety of substance related safety topics. HC DrugFree’s Executive Director, Joan Webb Scornaienchi, partnered with Mark Donovan, LCPC, LCADC and Shannon Garrett, LMSW, LCADC of Congruent Counseling Services to lead a breakout session on the topic of identifying and treating youth Cannabis/Marijuana use. The session was observed and monitored by Dr. Cynthia A. Shulmeyer, Coordinator of Psychological Services at HCPSS.