Brewster, N.Y. – 9/30/2013 – Senator Greg Ball (R, C, I – Patterson) and Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith are urging community members to attend the fifth Drug Crisis in Our Backyard Forum, which will be hosted on Wednesday, October 9th at the Mahopac Volunteer Fire House at 7 PM.

The two families, both of which recently lost a son to drug overdoses, are hosting a series of forums titled, Drug Crisis In Our Backyard. The purpose of the forums are to promote awareness and provide resources and support to those individuals and their families affected by drug addiction.

“The Salomone and Christiansen family have truly been doing God’s work. I salute them for their continuing efforts to raise awareness about this epidemic,” Senator Ball said. “I have worked with my colleagues to recently pass and enact a piece of legislation aimed at curbing prescription drug abuse. Families like the Salomones and Christiansens have draw attention to this issue and have ultimately helped us pass this bill to begin combating prescription drug abuse.”

The law has created a tracking system known as the Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing Act, or “I-STOP”. The law has also modernized and improved the real time Prescription Monitoring Program that practitioners and pharmacists can securely and easily access, allowing them to view their patients’ controlled substance histories.

“In addition to aggressive enforcement of drug laws, public education and awareness are other critical weapons in the war against illegal drugs.  That is why Senator Ball’s upcoming Backyard Forum about drugs in our communities is so important.  I urge all stakeholders—parents, guardians, youth leaders and caring citizens of every kind—to attend the Forum to learn how we can all work together to rid our communities of the scourge of dangerous drugs,” said Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith.

The theme of this forum is entitled, “Prevention, Treatment and Recovery Planning”. It is structured to offer attendees an overview of resources available locally to deal with addiction on several different levels of severity. Attendees will be encouraged to use this information with which to create a proactive plan in dealing with potential drug addiction issues within their own families or circle of friends.

“We are very excited about this forum in particular as it will give the audience some concrete tools to use in identifying and dealing with potential addiction within their families or with friends,” said Susan Salomone, One of the founders of this group. “There is an increasing number of people affected by this disease in some way and our group is attempting to help people in need with information and with a game plan.”

“These forums have really opened the eyes of our community. They are directing attention to an issue that is often wrongfully swept under the rug,” said Yorktown Councilman Terrence Murphy. “I would like to sincerely thank the Salomone and Christiansen families for the work they are doing to raise awareness and to prevent future tragedies.”

For more information on this forum or on the Drug Crisis in Our Backyard Group, please contact Susan Salomone at 914-582-8384 or


What:  Drug Crisis In Our Backyard

When: Wednesday, October 9th at 7 PM

Where: Mahopac Volunteer Fire House: Croton Fall Road and Route 6 in Mahopac, NY

Who: The speaker lineup includes:

Joseph A. DeMarzo, Deputy Commissioner Putnam County Dept. of Social Services

David Gerber, Director, Counseling/Shelter Services and Marianne Taylor-Rhoades Chief Operating Officer at St. Christopher’s Inn

Doreen Lockwood, CASAC, Dir. of Treatment and Prevention Services at Putnam Family Community Services

Kristin E. McConnell, MS, Executive Director National Council on Alcoholism and Other Drug Dependencies/Putnam Inc.

Naura Slivinsky, LCSW, Director of Community Relations at Arms Acres/Liberty Behavioral Management


For more information, please contact or (845) 531-9796


About Greg Ball

Assemblyman Greg Ball (R, C, I – Patterson) is the Senator for New York State's 40th district. A former Vice President of Exceed International Development Corporation, Ball holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the United States Air Force Academy, is currently completing his Masters Thesis of Liberal Studies in International Affairs at Georgetown University, and received an honorable discharge in 2005 at the rank of Captain after service as an active duty officer in the United States Air Force. View all posts by Greg Ball →
Comments are closed.
  • Twitter Updates

  • Latest Video