Panel to Discuss 'Water'

Mother’s Against Gun Violence will team up with Corcoran High School and the Syracuse Onondaga Drug & Alcohol Abuse Commission to host the first ever panel discussion on the drug called “Water” from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 19, at Corcoran High School, 919 Glenwood Ave., Syracuse.

“Water” is the use of embalming fluid, PCP and formaldehyde to get high. The panel will  provide knowledge of the effects that these fluids have on the body and mind of a person.

The panel includes South Side community members, the Syracuse Chief of Police Frank Fowler, the Onondaga County Commissioner of Health Dr. Cynthia Morrow, Charles Garland of Garland Funeral Home and Kimberly Sacco with Syracuse/Onondaga Drug & Alcohol Abuse.

The professionals were chosen carefully to discuss ways to prevent adults and adolescents from obtaining these fluids, according to Helen Hudson, president of Mothers Against Gun Violence. The different fluids are very easy to obtain because they can be found at university labs, funeral homes and science labs and purchased at department stores and online, Hudson explained.

Hudson has been an advocate for youth education since she started working with Mothers Against Gun Violence in 2002. Hudson and her organization hold vigils for families of homicide victims, conduct outreach to adolescents on probation and help to promote the reality of gun and domestic violence to the Syracuse community. Now, Hudson wants to echo a message to teenagers and parents of the South Side community about the real dangers of “Water.”

“Parents aren’t supposed to be burying their kids at 16 or 28,” Hudson said. “It’s been out here for the last 15 years or so. I want to walk away with solutions that night, on ways to fix this problem.”

Hudson said that Dan Maffei is one of the many figures working to get embalming fluid off the streets, by passing a bill that facilities and regulates who can purchase embalming fluid. The only individuals or establishments that should be able to buy the fluid are funeral homes, Hudson said.

“We are trying to get our children to understand just how valuable they are to our communities,” she said.