Ardsley mom brings new awareness to opioid crisis

An Ardsley mother who lost her son to an opioid overdose is trying to fight the youth opioid crisis with a new approach.



Four years ago, Stephanie Marquesano's son Harris died of an accidental overdose at just 19 years old.



Marquesano says her son was a soccer player and a popular student whose struggles with crippling anxiety led him to turn to drugs.



She says 70 percent of people who misuse drugs have mental health challenges or disorders.



To help teens with struggles similar to those of her late son, Marquesano started CODA, or Co-Occurring Disorders Awareness, a program to help teens have a conversation about mental health.



The program provides a yearlong support system at high schools for every type of student.



Marquesano first started in Greenwich High School and says the program has now expanded to 12 schools in Westchester County.



She says she hopes she can find the funding to expand the movement to more schools.


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