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Drug and Alcohol Abuse “Courageous Conversation” Hosted by Dublin High

February 1, 2013

Drug and Alcohol Abuse Courageous Conversation 3

Unfortunately, drug and alcohol abuse by minors occurs in every large and small community across the United States. Dublin is not immune to this problem. In an effort to proactively open the discussion about this problem, the Dublin Unified School District (DUSD) has commenced a public program for its citizens to address this issue and others that are our impacting our youngest citizens. Under the umbrella title of “Courageous Conversations”, the District hosted an event at the Dublin High School Student Union on Thursday evening. The subject of this presentation was an open and candid conversation about how to talk to one’s children about drug and alcohol abuse.

Through the cooperation of several organizations, an impressive roster of speakers was assembled to help parents understand the impact and consequences of substance abuse. Assistant Principal Theresa Rodgers presided over the evening and served as the facilitator. The presenters included: Tim Bartley from Teen Esteem, Sergeant Dave Snider, April Rovero of the National Coalition Against Prescription Drug Abuse, Nikki Montez of Mothers With a Purpose and John Tompkins of Team Edserve.

Drug and Alcohol Abuse Courageous Conversation 1

What all of these individuals share in common is a passion for steering our youth into making smart decisions. All of the presenters have devoted their lives and careers in the interest of providing direction and counseling to those at risk. The discussion was candid and the statistics were startling. As an example, 300% more Americans die each year from prescription medication than from illegal drugs. In reality, most kids get the prescription drugs they abuse from their friends or from their home medicine cabinets. Simply put, drug and alcohol abuse is not confined to procuring them by illegal means.

In addition to work that he has conducted for Teen Esteem for the past 15 years, Tim Barley also serves as a chaplain for the San Ramon Valley Fire District. As he visits schools throughout Contra Costa County, he is amazed to the response of questions that he poses to students. Do you know of anyone that is using illegal drugs? Do you know how to source illegal substances? Are you aware of any peer that is binge drinking? To all of these questions, the students raise their hands and say “yes”. He says this not to suggest an epidemic. Simply, it is the fact that this problem exists. It does not matter if the student resides in Alamo, Oakland, Concord or Dublin – the potential for trouble is there. Mr. Barley also alluded to a common “code of silence” that exists at many of our school campuses. Our children are more savvy than we give them credit for and student culture will often not allow or encourage “outing” a substance abuser.

Sergeant Dave Snider

Sergeant Dave Snider

A startling presentation was made by Sergeant Dave Snider. He led a very direct conversation about what illegal drugs are trending in Dublin. One of early “entry” drugs that remain is marijuana, due to its relative low-cost and availability. Alcohol is also attainable as it is perhaps the easiest to get, especially if it exists in the home. Most surprisingly, heroin usage is on the rise. Sergeant Snider cited that its usage is cutting across the ages between 15-25 year olds. Interestingly, many of these drugs are being are not being distributed locally, but are being imported into Dublin from parts of San Joaquin County.

In all, it was a tremendous step for DUSD to provide an open and healthy forum for this discussion. For those that elected to attend, it was a revelation and an unmistakable message. The Courageous Conversation series will continue. A Drug Detection Dogs in DUSD discussion will occur on February 13th at Wells Middle School and a dialogue on Bullying / Cyberbullying will be conducted on March 14th at Dublin High School. Both events will occur from 6:30-8:00PM.

Additional Resources and Related Articles:

Drug and Alcohol Abuse "Courageous Conversation" Presenters

Drug and Alcohol Abuse “Courageous Conversation” Panel

Dublin Community Attends Drug and Alcohol Abuse Courageous Conversatio

Dublin Community Attends Drug and Alcohol Abuse “Courageous Conversation”

Drug and Alcohol Abuse Courageous Conversation Display

Drug and Alcohol Abuse “Courageous Conversation” Display

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