Take Back Youth Aims to Teach Parents, Teens About Drug Abuse

By: Clare Kaley Email
By: Clare Kaley Email

Addiction is a real issue here in our community, and unfortunately, much of it begins with teenage drug use. That's why the Alcohol and Other Drug Partnership is working to bring awareness to drug use among our youth.

"I am a mother that helplessly watched as the successes and failures all the positive things in my child's life unravel before me, not knowing why, and not knowing what I could do about it."

Deb knows all too well what drug addiction can do to a teenager.

"We talked to her about smoking pot, we talked to her about not drinking," said Deb, "but when she graduated from high school, and had shown no interest in drinking, I was so grateful."

But she had no idea her daughter, a star athlete, was using heroin. Deb says the drug use all started with a sports injury that required prescription pain killers. She says you need to realize that addiction does not discriminate.

"I think there's a need for parents to know that it doesn't happen to just at-risk kids," Deb said, "this doesn't happen to families where kids didn't have opportunities, it happens to everybody, it can happen to anyone."

Deb's story is just one reason for the kickoff of a new campaign called Take Back Youth. It's meant to help spark conversations between parents and kids, about the dangers of drugs.

"We need to start having those conversations when they're very young," Shannon said, "just because we haven't done that, maybe we haven't done that because we weren't comfortable doesn't mean we shouldn't start."

Shannon Young works with teenagers everyday. She knows the talks can be difficult...

"I honestly I think sometimes we think they're not going to talk, and they're not going to share," Shannon said, "but when they're giving the opportunity to share, and to just have those conversations with us, they do, they really will talk very openly and freely."

Something Deb says will benefit not just the kids, but parents as well.

"I think parents today need to be aware that this is in our town, this is spreading across our nation, and they just need to tell their kids, and they themselves need to be more aware of the dangerousness of this."

For more information on Take Back Youth, visit their website: www.takebackyouth.org

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