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Wisselman, Harounian & Associates Presents 17th Annual Legal Workshop for Mental Health Professionals

The Great Neck Record has recently highlighted Wisselman, Harounian & Associates and the law firm’s efforts to address the response of law enforcement and the courts in fighting the substance abuse epidemic on Long Island, on Long Island, in New York, and across the nation. In its May 29 – June 4, 2019 publication, the newsgroup featured an article by Attorney Jacqueline Harounian titled “Marijuana and Substance Use and Abuse.” Within the article, Attorney Harounian discussed substance abuse concerns, including vaping and juuling by minors, and how the law firm and other professionals in the region are working diligently to help.

Hosting a Legal Workshop for Mental Health Specialists

Attorney Jerome Wisselman has teamed up with leading experts in the community to host a legal workshop for mental health professionals. The event is focusing on three different types of substance abuse concerns: the deadly opioid crisis, nicotine addiction in youths who use Juuls, vapes, and e-cigs, and the prospect of legalized marijuana in New York, as it has been proposed through pending legislation. Experts on the panel included Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder and Nassau County District Court Judge Andrea Phoenix. Approaches by law enforcement and the Nassau County Treatment Court and Mental Health Court were explained to the audience of 150 attendees. Both Attorneys Wisselman and Harounian talked about how substance abuse factors into divorce and family law cases, like child custody, orders of protection, and grandparents’ rights. School education law (possession by a minor in school) and consequences were discussed. Areas of criminal law, including possession, driving while impaired, and social host law were also addressed.

Hope Through Substance Abuse Education

If these substance abuse crises are to be mitigated, then it is critical for individuals, parents, and the community to get a better understanding of what causes them and what can be done to treat addicts. This is especially true of mental health professionals, who are actively treating patients who are dealing with the consequences of substance abuse and addiction. Oftentimes, the worlds of mental health specialists and family law attorneys overlap, and they have patients and clients in common, so the legal workshop is especially geared for a discussion and interaction between professionals throughout Great Neck and Long Island.

Juul is Not Cool

Perhaps the most pressing goal of better substance abuse education – not just for mental health professionals but for everyone in Great Neck and beyond – is curtailing the Juul addiction by minors now before it spreads further. Children and teens are attracted to the novelty of Juuls because they have a cool design and come in a variety of fun flavors. But what most youths don’t understand is that Juuls have much more nicotine just like a cigarette, and Juuling can cause serious mental and physical harm to them, just as a cigarette does. It can also be considered a “gateway” substance that creates addiction in teens that leads to other more dangerous substances, such as alcohol and opioids. The mistaken belief that Juules are harmless is a big part of the problem.

Here are some quick facts about Juul and nicotine use among teens:

  • E-cigarette use has spiked 160% in the last 5 years.
  • 33% of students say they have used an e-cig or Juul.
  • More than 50% of students think Juuling is harmless.
  • Approximately 40% of high schoolers have smoked cigarettes, up from 5% only 2 years ago.

With the help of law firms like Wisselman, Harounian & Associates, public authorities like Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder and Judge Andrea Phoenix, and mental health professionals who interact with youths daily, the Juuling crisis may be contained. But the effort also relies on everyone, from parents to siblings to neighbors to community leaders. We all need to join together to let our children know the real consequences of Juuling, alcohol and opioids.

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To see the entire article by Attorney Harounian that was published by the Great Neck Record, please click here. To learn more about Wisselman, Harounian & Associates, you can contact our law firm at any time. Our attorneys handle a variety of legal matters for our clients throughout Long Island, including divorce, family law disputes, real estate law, and estate planning. Call (516) 406-8500 today.

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