Parents must be involved

One of the key factors in preventing drug abuse by teens is parental involvement. That's why the turn-out at last week's drug symposium was so disappointing.

No parents attended the symposium at which several young people shared their stories about drug use and how oblivious their parents were to their behavior.

Certainly, this wasn't a school play. No one was going to cut out the story for their scrapbook. But it took a lot of courage and encouragement for these teenagers to tell their stories. That no one showed up just confirmed what they had to say. The parents whose children use drugs, the ones the symposium was designed to help, don't want to know about it.

In some cases they are drug users themselves, or partook during misspent youth. In others they are simply disengaged from their children's lives.

In either case, the damage they do through inaction will cost their children dearly.

The earlier a child begins using gateway drugs, like marijuana, or alcohol, the more likely that child will find the way to harder drugs.

We're not talking smoking a joint or sneaking a shot from the liquor cabinet. Some of these children are intravenous drug users, shooting up methamphetamine before they are old enough to vote.

We applaud the organizers of the symposium for pressing forward regardless of the turnout. Their message is too important to be ignored.


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