Barnstable Youth Commission Hosts Substance Abuse Forum Virtually

HYANNIS – The Barnstable Youth Commission will be hosting the virtual 7th Annual Community Substance Abuse Forum to help parents and guardians learn how to talk to their children about drug and substance issues. 

Patti Machado, Recreation Director for the Town of Barnstable, it’s important for families to know what dangers are out there but also how to deal with them in a healthy way as a family. 

“We’re finding more and more that it’s important for not only the kids to understand what’s out there, but for the parents to help the kids to maneuver the kids through this,” said Machado. 

The forum will feature presentations from Executive Director of Behavioral Health Services at Cape Cod Healthcare, Debra Ciavola, as well as Barnstable Police School Resource Officers David Downs and Dennis Stampfl. 

Topics that will be a part of the community conversation include starting the discussion about the dangers of substance abuse at a young age, as well as what kinds of drugs are currently most abused.

Machado said that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has made the existing substance abuse issues among youth worse as the next generation looks for ways to cope. 

“Kids are home alone, going to school. Not to fear people but bottom line is there are kids who are coping through substance right now through this pandemic. You may not recognize it right now, but maybe by coming to this you might see something that would help you get through this and help your kids,” said Machado. 

“We want to give them the tools to be able to prevent these things from happening with their kids, and give them the tools to be able to handle it when it does.”

The forum will run from 6 to 7 pm on Tuesday, January 12.

Registration for the event, hosted on Zoom, can be done here.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native currently living in Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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