6th Annual Natural High Ice Skating Event

The Morris County Partners in Substance Abuse Prevention continues the Natural High Initiative it began six years ago with an evening of free family ice skating at the Mennen Arena, 161 East Hanover Avenue, Morris Township on Thursday, March 21, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Steve Nebesni, Morris County Municipal Alliance Coordinator, said the event is intended to demonstrate to young people that they can achieve highs naturally, without the aid of drugs or alcohol, by engaging in fun, uplifting activities such as the Natural High Skating event or a family movie or game night at home complete with popcorn and soft drinks.

Resource tables will be available, and the evening’s MC will be Josh Drean, a former mascot of Brigham Young University who is now an entertaining youth speaker.

While he was the BYU mascot, Drean said he witnessed many acts of bullying in the schools and organizations he entertained. He said he was devastated by these acts of violence and has since devoted himself to helping create a “positive, safe and moral school climate.” He said his aim is to engage and reach students on a deeper level by drawing on the exciting and unique experiences he gained as a mascot.

Admission to the event and skate rentals are free, and children under 12 must be accompanied by a parent or responsible adult.

Capacity is limited and pre-registration is required by calling (973) 285-6860 or by registering online at https://morriscountynj.wufoo.com/forms/natural-high-2013/ .

Additional information is also available online at the Morris County Department of Human Services website, www.morrishumanservices.org.

The family skating night is supported by the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders and is made possible through the collaborative efforts of the Morris County Department of Human Services, the Morris County Partners in Substance Abuse Prevention, Morris County Prevention Is Key, the Morris County Park Commission, Atlantic Health and the United Way of Northern New Jersey.

The Morris County Partners in Substance Abuse Prevention is composed of Municipal Alliances, law enforcement, human services providers, schools and community organizations.

According to Nebesni, the group is committed to strengthening communities and empowering youth and defines a natural high as an excited or elevated state brought on by a non-drug related life event.

The coalition was formed after a community forum was held in August 2006 in response to the Operation Painkiller arrests and the rash of overdose deaths in the county.

The thrust of the group’s efforts is to address substance abuse issues from a strength-based perspective, focusing on how to build resiliency in our youth and improve the health and well-being of our communities through advocacy and education.