With the intention of educating parents and helping them get familiar with their kids’ activities involving alcohol or any other form of substance abuse, Nia Inc. of Greater Richmond, a nonprofit organization, recently organized an interactive drug prevention exhibit in a mock bedroom setting. Exhibition “Hidden in Plain Sight,” organized previously in other places, was held for the first time in Henrico at the St. Paul’s Baptist Chruch.
Displaying multiple items of which 33 were the potential red flags of substance abuse like dryer sheets, custom cans, drinking games, and electronic cigarettes, every parent who entered the mock room was given seven minutes to list down the things that according to them could be an indicator of drug or alcohol abuse.
Parents surprised to see objects used for drug use
“I’m totally surprised,” said Cassandra Simmons, a participating parent. “I didn’t imagine half of the stuff that was on the list that would be something that would contain paraphernalia.” The organizers of the exhibit believe that such drills can help parents develop a broader understanding about teenage substance abuse, its triggers, how it is done, what paraphernalia is used, and others such details.
Parents were assisted by officials from the police department and the Sheriff’s office of Henrico County. After the drill, the Henrico Area Mental Health and Developmental Services apprised the parents of the current state of opioid abuse. They also conducted a teen session on the ill effects of various substances.
Organizer of the event Pamela Parker said that parents lose a battle everyday as their kids have to deal with addiction to alcohol, marijuana and prescription drugs. She strongly feels that this is the best way to educate parents about such risky behavior in their child without themselves feeling uncomfortable about it.
Substance abuse is a menace, but can be tackled
Substance abuse is a pattern in which an individual uses a particular form of drug in high quantities that prove to be harmful. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the abuse of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs costs more than $740 billion annually in terms of crime, lost productivity and health care. Further, the use of illicit drugs in 2016 among school-going children was quite high with 5.8 percent 8th graders, 9.4 percent 10th graders, and 13.3 percent 12th graders abusing substances.
Keeping parents well-informed about such risky behavior in kids may help in eliminating the chances of teens indulging in substance abuse. In case someone gets addicted to alcohol or any other substance, it is best to join an addiction clinic offering the 12-step program for addiction recovery. Remember, recovery is possible only if one puts in the best of his/her efforts and not just hopes for it.
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