Inaugural Summit to Help Parents Prevent Substance Use

drugsalcoholHYANNIS – An inaugural summit designed to help parents with strategies for positive parenting and tips for communicating with their children to prevent substance abuse will be held Sunday in Hyannis.

“My Choice Matters – Parenting to Prevent Substance Use” is presented by the Barnstable County Regional Substance Abuse Council and will be held from noon to 3:30 p.m. at the Cape Codder Resort & Spa.

Local surveys show that parents have a greater influence than anyone else, including peers, on their child’s choice to use drugs or drink alcohol.

“We’re providing this opportunity for parents to learn how to support and guide their children and promote self-empowerment,” said Kim Slade, a program specialist. “And it’s also a way for our community to unite in our choices as we address substance use on Cape Cod.”

Other results from local surveys show that more than 60 percent of Cape Cod teens choose not to drink alcohol and 70 percent of students at Cape Cod high schools choose not to use marijuana.

The summit will help parents learn how drugs and alcohol affect children and teens and also empowers them to speak often and honestly to their children to decrease the likelihood of substance abuse.

The keynote speaker is Dr. Ruth Potee, who will present how alcohol and drugs affect brain development in youths.

Executive Director of Cape Cod Children’s Place Cindy Hogan will speak to parents of children 7 years old and younger about raising healthy families.

A discussion on promoting healthy behaviors will be given to parents of children ages 8-14 will be conducted by Traci Wojciechowski, the regional director of Caron Student Assistance Programs. And the Founder of Alcohol & Drug Abuse Prevention Training Tom Hermanowski will talk with parents of children aged 15-21 about the impact of stress on teenagers.

The event is free and open to the public. To register for the summit click here.

The council was convened by the Department of Human Health Services in 2014 and is comprised by over 40 members representing multiple sectors including federal and state elected officials, local government, law enforcement, town coalitions, first responders, probation, drug court, school nurses, parents, individuals in recovery, school officials and treatment and healthcare providers.

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