by Lisa Tome
It can happen in any family.
That's the message that Bernie Chiominto and his cousin, Rick, hope to convey at Rising Sun High School this week.
Setting up the drug awareness program has taken weeks of work for Chiominto, Rising Sun's police commissioner. He has worked in partnership with RSHS and school resource deputy Sgt. Scott Adams. For the keynote speaker, Chiominto tapped his family.
Richard "Rick" Dunlap is Chiominto's cousin. Rick's son, Tim, died from a drug overdose about four years ago. But before Tim died, the Dunlap family dealt with rehab, drug education, and more. "The outcome was tragic and it hit home," said Chiominto. Before Tim Dunlap died he was a good student and outstanding athlete, who gradually got addicted to prescription drugs and later, heroin.
The drug awareness seminar will also show parents the signs that their child may be dealing with an addiction.
"This could happen to any family," said Chiominto.
Dr. Richard Dunlap, the Superintendent of Schools in Upper Darby, Pa., will tell his family's story about the impact of drug addiction on Thursday, March 6 at 7 p.m. at Rising Sun High School. The following day, March 7, there will be assemblies for students during the school day.
"Rising Sun High School welcomes Dr. Dunlap's message, and we hope that many parents come to listen to his story. One child addicted to prescription drugs or heroin is one too many. We want our parents and students to know that trying these drugs even just once is dangerous. We also want to educate them on the signs of trouble and how to get help," said Anne Gellrich, principal at Rising Sun High School.