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Monday, October 20, 2014
Community News
Bellmore-Merrick task force takes on heroin
Group brings in late addict's father Larry Glenz to speak
Scott Brinton/Herald Life
The Bellmore-Merrick Heroin Task Force has met since early March. Above, at the May meeting were, from left, Saul Lerner, the Bellmore-Merrick Central http://liherald.cms.communityq.com/images/icon-move.pngDistrict director of health, physical education and athletics; Wendy Tepfer, executive director of the Community Parent Center; County Legislator David Denenberg; David Seinfeld, Calhoun High School principal; and Neil Brown, the North Merrick Board of Education president.

Larry Glenz, a retired Lynbrook High School history teacher, remembers the good times, when his son Kevin was healthy, before he became a heroin addict whose only thought, awake and asleep, was shooting up.

Larry recalls the two state lacrosse championships that he and his son won together at Lynbrook High, when Larry was the head lacrosse coach, and Kevin, a star on the team, was one of New York’s top players. Kevin was a popular role model, his father said, with excellent grades. He graduated from Lynbrook in 2000.

At the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where Kevin received a lacrosse scholarship, he downed opioid painkillers at a party one night, probably during his junior year. That led to a seven-year heroin addiction that only grew more vise-like, more debilitating, over time, until Kevin spiraled out of control and died of an overdose in 2010, at age 27. He had a 4-month-old daughter at the time, his father said.

In an upcoming series of seminars sponsored by the new Bellmore-Merrick Heroin Task Force, Larry Glenz, who self-published a book about his son’s addiction in 2011, “Forgiving Kevin,” will speak about the torment Kevin and his family experienced during the broken years that he was under heroin’s ruinous spell.

Glenz, 63, will speak to students at Kennedy High School on May 19, Calhoun High on May 22 and Mepham High on May 23. He will also give a presentation for parents on May 27 (see sidebar on last page of this story).

Calhoun Principal David Seinfeld and Nassau County Legislator David Denenberg, a Democrat from Merrick, formed the task force in March, after they attended the funeral of a Calhoun graduate who became addicted to opiates in college and died of a heroin overdose in her 20s in December. Her funeral was only days after Christmas.

Seinfeld and Denenberg knew the young woman, whom they described as friendly and kind-hearted, a soccer player who never caused trouble. She had tried detox and rehab, but nothing worked. Then she took bad heroin that was, unknown to her, laced with Fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opiate, and died instantly.

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