Dan Falcitelli, the executive director of Floyd Against Drugs, was named Advocate of the Year by the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America.
Despite the fact that Washington D.C. was so busy that night President Donald Trump was acquitted, he at least got to tell District 14 House Rep. Tom Graves about the award.
“He said he was proud of us,” Falcitelli said. He received the title from work done for Floyd County and Rome City youth to see a downward spiral in the use of alcohol and marijuana.
Some of that work included holding a lunch and learn event in 2018 to educate about the use of prescription drugs, which he’s seen as a problem in the area. He also has taken time to talk to students about vaping and how dangerous it can be.
FAD is strictly based on preventing students from doing drugs, whether it’s alcohol, prescription or recreational use. Falcitelli came in as the executive director of the group in 2015 and said much of his passion for preventative measures against drug use comes from personal family experiences.
When his family moved to Floyd County, his two daughters attended school in the Model area. His oldest went to Model High School and his youngest went to Model Middle School. Both of his daughters told him they knew of students who were doing drugs in the bathroom at the schools.
“I was like, ‘Where’s my badge? Where’s my gun?” the retired police officer laughed. “But that kind of fueled it.”
His sister also dealt with addiction after getting involved in a wreck with a drunk driver in Valdosta where Falcitelli served as a police officer. Doctors prescribed her with pain medication and she ended up becoming addicted to it.
“People that say it won’t happen to them, they better watch out,” he said. “She broke her jaw and hurt her shoulder. Just like that, she ended up addicted.”
He took his sister in after that, and she’s been clean for two years.
The group is hoping to extend the federal grant that funds Floyd Against Drugs to begin work on prescription drugs.
Along with the work the group has done in Floyd County and Rome City Schools, they have donated Narcan to both local police departments. The nasal spray counteracts the effects of an opioid overdose.