Seminars educate parents about drugs, alcohol abuse

Before parents can combat drug abuse with their children, they need to know what they're looking for.

"Knowledge is power," explained Jennifer Locke, who is helping to coordinate a series of drug information seminars through Partnership Carson City. "There's a lot of new things out there they might not have even heard of."

The community is invited to two Drug Update Community Forums being offered over the next two weeks featuring Judge John Tatro and Department of Alternative Sentencing Chief Roy Planeta.

She said the local leaders will share their personal experiences and update participants on the latest trends among youth, from energy drinks with alcohol to Spice or prescription drugs and heroin.

"They'll let parents know what's actually happening in our community," Locke said. "Just because we may not know anybody who's doing it, it's still out there."

The committee already hosted the seminars at the elementary schools and, Locke said, the presentation was eye-opening. She said parents may not be aware of the extent of their child's exposure to harmful substances.

She said she was alarmed by the number of students who said they could easily get heroin if they desired.

"I would not even know where to go," she said. "It was really astonishing the number of kids who would know where to get it."

Although Carson City is relatively small and tight-knit, Locke said parents should not feel a false sense of safety.

"Sometimes we think it can't affect us," she said. "A lot of parents just don't know what's happening, but it's affecting kids as young as elementary school."

Children also are welcome to attend the seminars. Locke said the presentation is appropriate for students fifth-grade and up.

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