As parents it is easy to believe that addiction is something that happens to other families. I operated under that assumption for many years. In hindsight, I wish that I had been better prepared to recognize the signs and symptoms of drug abuse.
One of the core objectives of the coalition is to educate the public so that our community is better equipped for early intervention. It is a fact that the earlier an addiction is recognized and treated, the greater the chance for recovery.
On December 8th the SAFE Coalition will present its third public forum; “Signs, Symptoms and Solutions – Ways to detect whether your loved one is abusing drugs”. This will be an interactive forum designed to educate parents on the early warning signs of drug abuse.
Over the last several years abuse of prescription medication has reached epidemic proportions. These days it is not uncommon for young people to receive opiate prescriptions for sports injuries or tooth extractions. Many young people report receiving a 30 day supply of opiate medication when their pain could likely be controlled by ibuprofen. Parents are often unaware of the danger these prescriptions can pose to their children.
Studies show that a shockingly high percentage of high school age students report using (or knowing someone that uses) prescription medication recreationally. “Partying” with highly addictive opiates like Oxycontin, Percocet and Vicodin is not uncommon and the consequences can be devastating. While not all people prescribed these medications abuse them, there are too many stories of young people experimenting with prescription drugs only to become addicted.
The forum we are presenting is designed to equip parents with the tools necessary to detect if and when their child may be abusing drugs. Each attendee will receive a “kit” which will include items commonly used by those abusing drugs. In addition we will have a panel of experts and allow ample time for questions and answers. Finally, we will present some early intervention techniques including how to talk to your children about prescription drug abuse and what to do if you suspect your loved one is using.
Knowledge is power. Please consider joining us on December 8th.