Lauber Presents on Preventing Drug and Alcohol Addiction to High School Students

Posted on 3/1/2018 3:36:26 PM

Beware the slow, biological adaptation that occurs in your brain as a result of repeated exposure to mind-altering substances. That was Erick Lauber’s (Journalism and Public Relations) principle message on February 21 as he presented to a roomfull of high school students at the 2018 Youth Leadership Conference, hosted by the Armstrong-Indiana-Clarion Drug and Alcohol Commission at the HUB.

“Adolescence is the highest at-risk population for development of a substance abuse disorder in part because of heightened neural plasticity,” he explained. “This means the adolescent brain is re-wiring very heavily, and flooding the system with these outside chemicals will cause a change at the neural level, resulting eventually in addiction.”

He demonstrated several biological and psychological concepts with fun dip candy and Hershey’s chocolates. Students were representatives of each of the high schools in Indiana County.

Lauber is director of Community Health and Leadership at the MARTI-CBH institute at IUP. He is currently heading the Opioid Prevention and Community Health Initiative, an outreach effort by MARTI to help the local community with the heroin/opioid crisis. More information about this multi-pronged effort can be found on the MARTI website.