Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Parent drug forum



A meeting to discuss drug and alcohol use in our youth was held recently in the Community Room at the Marco Island Police Department. The event was held in partnership with the Marco Island Police Department, Drug Free Collier, SWAT (Students Working Against Tobacco), Collier County Sheriff’s Department and the Marco Island Marriott. Information on the newest drugs and trends to hit the streets were of particular interest. How many attendees had heard of K2 or Spice, herbal concoctions which simulate marijuana? What image comes to mind when thinking of chewing tobacco? Products today are nothing like what you may imagine. Parents were enlightened on the strategies used by tobacco companies to draw in children. Brightly colored stylish packages of tobacco products, available in a variety of candy flavors are now the norm. In the state of Florida it is illegal to display such products near candy. A quick survey of local convenience stores found most compliant, one however, displayed the fluorescent colored chewing tobacco product right next a tub of double bubble chewing gum. It looks so much like candy most parents don’t look twice. Although smoking cigarettes is on the decline, prescription drug use is on the rise. Keep your prescriptions in a safe place. According to George Abounader, Principal of Marco Island Charter Middle School, “knowledge of what is out there and knowing what your son or daughter is doing is important.” George described some of the signs teens may exhibit if using drugs or alcohol. In home drug testing kits are available at the police department free of charge and are for sale at local pharmacies. “It’s one way for youngsters to combat peer pressure. If they happen to get pressured to use drugs or alcohol, it may be easier for them to say they can’t because they’ll be tested when they get home.”

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