Barnstable Officials to Host Community Substance Abuse Forum

HYANNIS – Communities on Cape Cod are working to find different methods of battling substance abuse as the nation is gripped by the opioid epidemic.

The Barnstable Youth Commission and the Barnstable Police Department’s Community Impact Unit are partnering this month to host a forum on substance abuse in the community.

The program, accordingly titled the Community Substance Abuse Prevention Forum, will offer participants resource materials and will feature a panel discussion.

“It’s a great night for parents to come out and educate themselves on some of the dangers out there that they might not be familiar with. People from the Barnstable Police Department and other agencies will be there to help teach parents some of the things the kids are doing and need to be aware about,” explained Barnstable Assistant Recreational Director John Gleason.

“There’s so many things out there to keep ahead of. There’s some terms that these kids are using that we wouldn’t think anything of it, but really they’re referencing some sort of drug or some sort of paraphernalia for these kids to use these drugs.”

The forum is split into four different sections: ‘Red Flags – Signs and Equipment’, ‘Familiarize Yourself – What is Out There?’, and ‘Household Products You May Not Know Are Dangerous’, ending with a question and answer session with police officers.

Gleason says that peer pressure is still a big factor in whether or not a young person may experiment with drugs or alcohol, but adds that the access to how kids can obtain these substances is a lot easier today than it was years ago.

“These things are disguised in other forms that you don’t realize. One of the big things these days is ‘Jeweling,’ and a Jewel can be described as a USB port that you would put into a computer, it could be disguised as a pen. So, all of these things that you would think are normal objects actually contain drugs and stuff that effect our youth today,” Gleason said.

The forum will be held at the Hyannis Youth & Community Center on Wednesday, October 24 at 6:30 p.m. The program is free and open to the public.

By TIM DUNN, CapeCod.com News Center

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