Program targets drug abuse


Staff Writer

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Parents and other adults are invited to attend a program about kids and drugs from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday at Nash Community College.

Drugs Uncovered: What Parents and Other Adults Need to Know is an interactive program targeting parents, caregivers and adults that works with upper elementary, middle school and high school students, said Deborah Hendren, a certified substance abuse prevention consultant with the Alice Aycock Poe Center for Health Education, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating and empowering North Carolina’s children, youth and their families to make choices that increase positive health behaviors.

Drugs Uncovered will introduce adults to current trends regarding alcohol, tobacco and other drugs; health risks associated with adolescent abuse; state alcohol laws and parental responsibility; and techniques for open communication and dialog with adolescents.

Included in the program is a tour of a mock teenage bedroom with more than 70 obvious and discreet signs of substance use waiting to be uncovered by attendees.

The center points out statistics for drug and alcohol use by young people can be frightening. Roughly 33 percent of high school students report drinking alcohol in the past month. Although drinking by people under the age of 21 is illegal, people aged 12 to 20 years drink 11 percent of all alcohol consumed in the United States, with more than 90 percent of this alcohol being consumed in the form of binge drinking, according to information provided by the Poe Center.

Also addressed by the program will be the national epidemic of drug overdose deaths. The death rate for heroin overdoses nearly quadrupled from 2012 to 2015, according to recent studies.

Also participating in the program will be PORT Health Services and the Coalition for Addiction Recovery and Education. PORT staff utilizes strategies designed to keep people, families, groups and communities healthy and free from problems related to alcohol and drug use.

CARE was formed in February 2016 in Nash County in response to the opioid epidemic that has impacted numerous people and families in the county. CARE, an interdisciplinary group, meets monthly to work collaboratively on strategies and solutions related to eradicating addiction and improving the health of the community. 

Since 1991, the Poe Center in Raleigh has provided health education to more than a million children throughout 91 of the state's 100 counties. The center engages participants in fun, highly interactive lessons. For additional information about the Poe Center visit www.poehealth.org.

For more information contact Amanda Flory at aflory@nhcs.org or 252-962-5437.