CEDAR GROVE, NJ - On September 21, the freshmen and sophomores at Cedar Grove High School attended an assembly coordinated by Student Assistance Counselor Bobbie Bolandi and led by guest speaker, Dr. Matt Bellace, who spoke to the students about how to be drug and alcohol free.

To get his point across, the professional speaker and stand­up comedian used his sense of humor to teach students how to turn to natural highs like exercise and laughter instead of drugs and alcohol in any situation no matter what the circumstances are.  Bellace told the audience that it is hard to be successful while being under the influence of these poisons to the body, but finding a safe way to cope with problems and avoid drugs and alcohol will lead to success.

Bellace took examples from his and his brother’s life experiences, to demonstrate to the students the consequences of drugs and alcohol.  Using the acronym L.E.A.D. he emphasized ways to lean on healthy people for support, express themselves in a healthy way, achieve natural highs, and to not be afraid to take a stand.

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For more than 20 years, Bellace has traveled the country as a professional speaker and stand-up comedian.  He has a PhD. in clinical neuropsychology and is the author of the book, "A Better High," co-author of the National Geographic Series, "This or That," and was a regular on truTV's, "World's Dumbest."

Gillian Iula is a sophomore at Cedar Grove High School participating in a journalism program with TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove.