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Posted on: March 9, 2018

Parents Learn About Drug and Alcohol Prevention

When Jeremy Sutliff first began using marijuana and alcohol he was thirteen years old, “That excelled me into partying with other drugs. I started an opiate habit with painkillers,” said Sutliff.

He and two other adults who struggled with addiction as teenagers spoke to parents on March 6th at the Anoka-Hennepin Educational Service Center. The Drug and Alcohol Awareness Event sought to prevent substance use by teenagers.

“We’re living in a society where there’s a lot of temptations for kids and yet we have a lot of misinformation and quite frankly we have people who lack information in terms of what signs and symptoms look like,” said Michael George, Principal of Champlin Park High School.

Principal George, along with the Brooklyn Park Police Department, Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge and other experts told parents what to look for.

“One of the new hottest things kids are using in e-cigs is a ‘jewel’. It looks like a USB, it plugs in like a USB, it looks exactly like one but it’s an e-cig. So if you don’t know what you’re looking for you’ll never know what to expect right? So that’s really our task,” George said.

Detective Andy Dickman with the Brooklyn Park Police Department said drugs can be hidden just about anything, including fake cellphones, cameras and deodorant sticks. Dickman said parents should monitor their teen’s social media for “code words” that may refer to drugs.

“The best part and the key word of the whole thing is prevention. If we can prevent something from happening it’s a lot less effort to prevent something then to go back and fix it,” said Sutliff.

Principal George told parents to reach out to school district staff if they have questions or concerns. Online resources are also available at www.drugfree.org.

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