PLATTSBURGH — Lisa Wells wanted to make sure that she and her niece, Alexis Clark, have the facts when it comes to teen drug use.
“There’s a lot of different drugs out there that I’m not aware of,” Wells told the Press-Republican.
That’s why the Plattsburgh woman and Alexis, an eighth-grader at Stafford Middle School, attended a recent evening event at the school aimed at educating area teens and their families about drug abuse and how to prevent it.
The event, “Stay Ahead of the Game: the Latest and Not So Greatest in Drug Trends,” was sponsored by the Drug-Free Community Support Program and the Plattsburgh Campus and Community Partnership.
TALK WITH KIDS
The Support Program was established by a federally funded grant that brings about $125,000 a year to the City of Plattsburgh for drug and alcohol prevention and education for youths age 18 and younger. The program also includes a subcommittee that focuses on parent communication.
“What we try to do is provide community-education initiatives and opportunities for parents to come in and to hear about topics that are hot topics relevant to them,” said Jessica Mathews, Support Program project coordinator and a member of the parent-communication subcommittee.
For the first portion of the evening, which was free and open to area families, parents attended a talk led by Behavioral Health Services North Director of Employee Assistance Services Bonnie Black.
Black spoke about substances such as synthetic marijuana and salvia divinorum that are being sold as seemingly harmless items, like plant food, insect repellent and incense. Despite being labeled “not for human consumption,” the substances are being ingested for the high they produce.
“Like with any illegal high, one use and you could be dead,” she told parents at the event.
In addition, Black discussed the most common reasons teens use drugs and the importance of parents talking to their kids about the dangers of substance abuse.