Barnstable County Regional Substance Use Council to Host Annual Parent Summit

Barnstable County Department of Human Services Director Elizabeth Albert

BARNSTABLE – The Barnstable County Regional Substance Use Council will be hosting the third Annual Parent Summit to provide parents and caregivers with the practical know-how in order to steer their children away from the dangers of substance use.

This year’s theme, “My Choice Matters: Parenting to Prevent Substance Use,” will shine a spotlight on the emergence of vaping and explore how anxiety and depression can push pre-teens and teenagers to experiment with drugs, alcohol and tobacco.

The summit, which begins at noon on May 19 at the Cape Codder Resort and Spa, located at 1225 Iyannough Road in Hyannis, will feature nationally-recognized relationship and family expert Lynne Griffin as the keynote speaker. There is no charge for admission, although pre-registration is required.

Griffin is the author of three novels and the nonfiction guides Let’s Talk About It: Adolescent Mental Health and Negotiation Generation: Take Back Your Parental Authority Without Punishment. Her talk will address “Vulnerable Children: What Parents Need to Know About Anxiety, Depression and Substance Use.”

Following Griffin’s presentation, Stacey Schakel, a Registered Nurse and Nurse Coordinator with the Mashpee School District, will take to the podium to provide summit attendees with a front-line look at the prevalence of vaping among students, how electronic smoking devices make it more difficult to detect if a child is smoking tobacco or marijuana, as well as practical tips on how parents and caregivers can intervene.

“Substance use is something all parents are concerned about. This summit is designed to go beyond raising awareness. We want to not only provide parents and caregivers with up-to-date information on what’s out there, but also arm them with practical tips and resources,” says Kim Slade, summit organizer and Barnstable County Department of Human Services Substance Use Program Manager.

Slade noted that while some may be predisposed to addiction, it’s important that substance use disorders not be considered a predetermined outcome, or overlook the fact that the choices young people and their families make can empower them to avoid substance use altogether regardless of their background or circumstances.

“Well-informed decision-making is a central part of the equation,” Slade says.

“When it comes to substance use, choice matters, as parents and as community members. And knowing that ‘Choice Matters,’ we are empowered to make decisions that have a positive impact on our lives and the lives of those around us.”

Free child care is also being offered for summit attendees who bring children but must be reserved during the registration process.

The summit agenda is as follows:

12:00pm – 12:30 pm Registration and Meet with Local Experts

12:30pm – 12:45pm Welcome and Introductions

12:45pm – 2:00pm Keynote Lynne Griffin – Vulnerable Children: What Parents Need to Know About Anxiety, Depression, and Substance Use

2:00pm – 2:15pm Break and Snack

2:15pm – 3:00pm Vaping: What Every Parent Needs to Know

3:00pm – 3:30pm Wrap up and Resources

By TIM DUNN, News Center 

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