WILTON, Conn. -- Youth and parent surveys show that young people are using substances at a higher rate than parents believe they are. Although your teen may not be using drugs and alcohol, they are exposed to them.
A survey of Wilton middle and high school students shows high rates of binge drinking, e-cigarette use and marijuana use among upperclassmen.
Learn more at an educational event sponsored by Wilton Youth Council, Silver Hill Hospital, Positive Directions and Wilton Library on Tuesday, Feb. 23, at the Wilton Library.
Wendy Bentivegna, grant director for Positive Directions, will share survey results and briefly discuss e-cigarettes and binge drinking.
Both Bentivegna and Kristin Dineen, LCSW, Wilton Public Schools Outreach Counselor, will be available for questions about the survey.
John Douglas, MD, MBA, Clinical Director of the Outpatient Addiction Program at Silver Hill Hospital, will share information about marijuana.
Given that substance use is more common than parents think, it is important for parents to maintain open communication with their teens and know how to get help when they are worried that their child might have a problem.
It’s also important for parents to educate themselves about substances, like e-cigarettes and different strains of marijuana, that didn’t exist during their teen years.
Douglas will explain more about the dangers of these substances and discuss the warning signs of addiction disorders.
“As parents, we need to understand the risks,” said Vanessa Elias, chair of Wilton Youth Council. “I recently learned that e-cigarettes are not the safe alternative I thought they were. In fact they are unregulated and have been found to contain toxic ingredients, along with nicotine. And the marijuana kids are smoking now is many times more potent than the pot of our youth.”
“We need to discuss substance use with our children. We all have the opportunity to influence kids to make healthy choices not just in middle and high school, but in college, too,” Elias continued. “The survey shows us that parental disapproval of the consumption of alcohol is a huge deterrent for most students.”
Additionally, the data revealed that students believe having friends who don’t drink alcohol is a significant factor in deciding not to consume alcohol themselves.
The event is from 10 - 11:30 a.m.
Please register in advance at www.wiltonlibrary.org/events for this free event.
For more info, call the library at 203-762-6334
The Wilton Library is at 137 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton.
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