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“Hidden in Plain Sight” Exhibit
March 26 @ 5:00 pm - 8:30 pm PDT
Parents remain the #1 Prevention Tool in helping keep their youth alcohol and drug free. Prevent Together: Battle Ground Prevention Alliance has designed this parent only event to provide critical information and awareness about youth substance abuse. The event will take place on Tuesday, March 26th from 5:00 pm – 8:30 pm at Battle Ground High School. Parents and adults will be given an opportunity build their skill set. to walk through a “mock” teenagers room to see if they can spot signs of at-risk alcohol or drug use behaviors by the types of items “hidden” in the room. The evening will see parents walk through the room to see how many items they can find and learn what they missed.
In addition, Professor Jim Jensen’s presentation “Drugs and The Adolescent Brain” will provide information about the adolescent brain; an exploration of the social, cognitive, and physiological developments in adolescence and how they relate to use and abuse of drugs, including the impact of vaping, alcohol, marijuana and prescription drugs. At this time, our community has seen a significant increase in youth vaping, and this topic will also be covered.
Following Professor Jensen’s presentation, there will be a panel discussing current substance abuse trends and concerns featuring: Jackie Stack, Prevention Intervention Specialist, Officer Phil Anderson, both from Battle Ground High School; and Kianne Bell, Youth Prevention Leader and member of STASHA (Strong Teens Against Substances, Hazards and Other Abuse) moderated by Chief Bob Richardson. In addition, there will be resources and parent information available.
One of the primary goals of the Prevent Together Coalition’s work is to help support parents to make sure they are kept informed and given concrete skills that will help them in this very important job – known as parenting!
The good news is this: The majority of young people in our community are making very good decisions about not using alcohol or drugs – however that doesn’t mean that they don’t face “risks” that could lead them down a destructive path. Parents are in a critical position that can not only help identify those risks for their youth but help them reduce the risks and get help when needed.
If there is two messages that we hope you take away this event, it is this: “Trust but Verify”. Teen years are tough. Youth are gaining independence and with that comes lots of learning and responsibility. As parents, it is important that we trust our kids – but we must also verify to know that their behavior/actions are consistent with what they are telling us. The second message is this: if you do find something or your instincts tell you something is wrong, GET HELP. Early intervention is critical in helping young people get back on the right path- the earlier the better. We hope you have learned about some possible resources that may be available for you.