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Valley students receive dose of reality


Valley students
receive dose of realityStudents at Valley
High School were given a
genuine “dose of reality”
Friday during an assem-
bly program presented by
Linda Dutil, RN emer-
gency room nurse from
the state of Maine who
currently travels across the
country, talking to elemen-
tary, middle, high school
and college students about
making proper choices in
their lives. The interac-
tive program used student
volunteers to demonstrate
exactly what happens
to a person in a hospital
emergency room who has
overdosed on drugs, alco-
hol, or any other harmful
“One of two things
immediately takes place
to rid the body of the
substance the patient
has ingested,” Dutil told
students. “They can either
voluntarily drink a thick,
chalky charcoal mixture
or, if they refuse, it will
be administered by a tube
inserted through their nose
and into their stomach.
Either way, we have to
completely empty the
stomach of its contents
before any more of the
ingested substance enters
the bloodstream.”
In addition to the sober-
ing live demonstration,
Dutil addressed some of
the myths commonly asso-
ciated with teenage party
“When a person has
had too much to drink,
their friends think they are doing them a favor by put-
ting them to bed to sleep
it off. But in reality, this is
entirely the wrong thing
to do,” said Dutil. “If the
inebriated person is lying
on their back, they could
regurgitate and actually
suffocate on their own
vomit. It happens all the
Instead, Dutil said the
person should be laid on
the floor and on their side
to prevent such suffoca-
Another main topic of discussion focused
on the prevalent use of
e-cigarettes by teenagers,
who are led to believe that
the effects of “vaping” are
less harmful than conven-
tional cigarette smoking.
“In reality, most of
these vaping products
contain nicotine, the same
harmful chemical found in
tobacco. In addition, these
products are available in
virtually every flavor you
can imagine, which makes
them particularly ap-
pealing to young people.
However, these additives
result in direct damage to
the lungs,” said Dutil.
The program concluded
with a video presentation
featuring photos of drug
users before and after the
ravaging physical effects
of their addiction. In each
case, the individuals aged
dramatically in a very
short time span, suffer-
ing weight and tooth loss
along with skin sores.
By sharing her experi-
ences as a nurse, Dutil said
she hopes to help students
consider the consequences
of poor choices and enable
them to develop healthy
attitudes about life.
“The emergency room
is the last place anyone
wants to visit,” Dutil
stated. “My goal is to
make a lasting impression
on young people across
the country. I want to em-
power them with the skills
they need to make good
choices to stay healthy and
safe.”“If we can positively
impact the life of just one
person, programs like this
are worth our time and
effort to share,” added
Valley High School Princi-
pal Dr. Sherry Ashe. “We
want to do everything we
possibly can to help our
students avoid the tragic
consequences of poor
More information
about Linda Dutil and her
life-changing program is
available at