The Times West Virginian

Opinion

November 8, 2013

Involvement of parents is critical step in addressing substance abuse

Substance abuse is being addressed on multiple fronts in West Virginia.

All efforts to cut into the problems associated with the abuse of drugs certainly demand attention.

A point of emphasis we hope gets special attention when dealing with young people is parental involvement.

Debbie Mann, substance abuse prevention coalition coordinator of the Family Resource Network (FRN), talked with the Times West Virginian this week about a new drug called molly that has made its way into tMarion County.

“The kids talk about it, and it’s advertised as a pure form of ecstacy,” Mann said. “It’s basically the main ingredient in ecstacy.”

She said there is a perception among young people that it’s a “safe” drug. That’s far from the truth. One reason the drug is so dangerous is because it raises a person’s body temperature and can lead to death from hyperthermia.

Mann knows just how important it is for parents to be involved in the fight against drugs.

As a part of her work with FRN, Mann travels to middle and high schools in the county, sits down with students during their lunch and talks with them about substance abuse, a program called Lunch and Learn.

Mann said she’s asked students how many of them have parents who talk to them about drugs and alcohol. She said it amazes her that only about 30 percent of students said their parents talk to them about the issue.

That’s obviously way, way too low a number, and it seems to come through a misperception on the part of the adults.

“I think some parents don’t want to put it in their kid’s mind, but their kids know already know about it. It’s in their music, movies and on the Internet,” Mann said. “It can happen to any family; there’s no demographic specific to drugs or alcohol.”

Mann said the best thing parents can do to prevent their child from doing drugs is to simply talk to them. She said research shows this is the number one thing that keeps kids from trying drugs, helps them say no to drugs and enables them to stand up to peer pressure.

“Parents need to open the discussion, bring it out and ask them if they have heard of molly or other drugs,” she said. “Talk to them about the risks.”

Meanwhile, a state task force says West Virginia should require prescriptions for cold medications that contain an ingredient — pseudoephedrine — used illegally to make methamphetamine.

Rite Aid’s West Virginia stores recently stopped selling cold medications that have pseudoephedrine as their only active ingredient.

The Governor’s Advisory Council on Substance Abuse also recommended that Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin oppose any legislation that would legalize marijuana for medical or recreational use, according to The Charleston Gazette.

Those issues are likely to come up for debate during the upcoming legislative session. Honest, open discussion is the way to set solid policy for the state.

It’s also called for in each and every family. If it’s not happening in about 70 percent of homes where young people are living, that’s just not acceptable.

Understand that help is available. For more information on how to talk to kids about drugs and alcohol, contact the Family Resource Network in Fairmont at 304-366-4445 or other sources of trust for your family.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • COLUMN: Freedom of Information — if you can pay

    Several years ago, I made a Freedom of Information request to a local government agency. Within the five business days, as required by law, a packet of information was delivered to the office. I expected a bill, as most government offices have a charge that ranges from 25 cents to $1.25 per page for copies of the documents we request.

    April 20, 2014

  • The reassuring spirit of Easter: One of new hope and beginnings

    During the sub-zero and snow-filled months of winter, we maintained a spirit of hope that spring was on the way. It has now become a reality as all nature stretches and yawns and awakens once more to a new beginning. The fragrance of spring awakens our waiting nostrils, the budding beauty of new life brightens our eyes, and the reassuring idea of renewal stimulates our minds.

    April 20, 2014

  • Unsung heroes handling calls in emergencies are appreciated

    Thankfully, we live in a community where help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, just by dialing three numbers — 9-1-1.
    During this week, which is recognized as National Public Safety Tele-Communicator’s Week nationwide, we need to remember that on the other end of that line are the men and women here in this county who are always there in case of accident, crimes, medical emergencies and any other catastrophic event.

    April 18, 2014

  • Message to ‘buckle up and park the phone’ is saving lives

    A figure that we haven’t seen that much in recent years is the highway death toll for a given period.
    Is the death toll up, down or just about the same as it was?
    The West Virginia Southern Regional Highway Safety Program has announced there were 325 highway fatalities in 2013, the second-lowest number on record.

    April 17, 2014

  • State native Burwell can ‘deliver results’ as Health and Human Services secretary

    Sylvia Mathews Burwell might not be a name with which most people are immediately familiar.
    For the past year, she has run the budget office under President Barack Obama.
    Prior to that, she served as president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Development Program and later the Wal-Mart Foundation.

    April 16, 2014

  • Marion scores well in recent health report but could do better

    When it comes to area-wide studies, especially on health, there’s usually good news and bad news.
    So was the recent report on the health of America’s counties released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently. The nationwide county study evaluated health outcomes and health factors, and ranked counties accordingly.

    April 13, 2014

  • COLUMN: ‘Instant’ news not always reliable

    Instant.
    That little word has a pretty big meaning. With origins that date back to the 15th century, it means urgent, current, immediate.
    But think about how that word has developed over the past few decades.
    Instant pudding. Instead of slaving over a hot stove for a few minutes, you can now pour cold milk and with a bit of stirring, instant pudding!

    April 13, 2014

  • Decision to be an organ donor can save lives

    Chelsea Clair watched as her father died waiting for a bone marrow transplant.
    So when she met Kyle Froelich at a car show in 2009 and heard about his struggles to find a kidney that would match his unique needs, she never hesitated to offer hers to the man she just met.

    April 11, 2014

  • Volunteers continue to have priceless impact on community

    Chances are, you know someone who volunteers. Perhaps you’re a volunteer yourself.
    Marion County is full of volunteers.
    They read to our youth.
    They assist nonprofit agencies.
    They serve on boards and committees.
    And in 2013, they spent a day picking up nearly 10 tons of garbage that had been tossed out on public property around Marion County.

    April 10, 2014

  • Proposed school calendar lives up to letter and spirit of law

    West Virginia state law requires that students be in a classroom for 180 days.

    April 9, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Politics
House Ads