Not sure how to breach the subject of drugs and alcohol with your children?
Still a little confused about what bath salts really are?
A new series of informational events sponsored by the Prevention Program of Beacon Light Behavioral Health Systems, Drug Free Pennsylvania will be held in Warren and Forest Counties to present information to parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, or anyone from the community that is interested.
The first seminar focusing on the dangers of drug and alcohol will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday Oct. 23 at Warren Area High School and the second will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday Oct. 24 at East Forest High School.
"Studies have shown that it is very important that parents talk with their children about drugs and alcohol. Children whose parents have an open dialogue about drugs and alcohol are at a lower risk of using," Christ Snyder, supervisor of prevention services and Olweus bullying prevention program trainer for Beacon Light Behavioral Health Systems said.
"It's important to approach the subject early in life. As part of our Prevention efforts, we start talking about drugs and alcohol and how they affect the brain in kindergarten or first grade. The age of first use for children is dropping. The average age of first time tobacco use is between eight and 10 years old. Marijuana is around age 12 as is alcohol. The earlier we start to talk to our children about the dangers associated with these substances, the better the chance that our children won't give in to peer pressure and experiment early in life."
Snyder said a survey from The Partnership for a Drug Free America found that 40 percent of American teens report that they believe prescription medications are safer to use than illegal drugs.
"Clearly, putting off talking to your kids about substance abuse until your kids are 'old enough' is wasting precious time," Snyder said.
Registration for the seminars are not required but it is encouraged so the presenters have enough materials for everyone. To register for either of the two events or for more information visit Drug Free Pennsylvania's website at www.straighttalkforparents.org or call Snyder at Beacon Light at 814-585-1140.
These presentations are the first in a series that The Prevention Program of Beacon Light will host and will continue on Wednesday Nov. 14 with a program on bullying.
Snyder said futher programs are scheduled every month through the end of the school year and more information is available at the Beacon Light office on Central Avenue in Warren.