By Carol Reeves, executive director, Just Say Something
Red Ribbon Week (Oct. 23-31) is around the corner. It’s a time for schools, parents, youth organizations and communities to come together to celebrate substance-free youth. Join Just Say Something in observing the week, as we provide youth, parents and other caregivers with the tools to have honest and ongoing conversations about youth substance use prevention.
Parents play a major role in protecting kids. But COVID-19 isn’t making it any easier. In fact, it’s making parents rethink everything from sending kids back to school to keeping doctor’s appointments. But if we social distance, wear a mask and wash our hands, we should avoid infection. Maybe that would work with youth substance use prevention.
Maybe parents could use “social distancing” to help kids avoid it, which would mean keeping kids from coming into contact with family, friends and strangers who use substances and from being exposed to magazines, billboards, comics, TV shows, movies, online sites, video games, and stores and head shops that promote substance use and paraphernalia.
… Maybe parents should think of themselves as the “mask” that protects kids from substance use and addiction …
Maybe parents should think of themselves as the “mask” that protects kids from substance use and addiction. To become a “mask,” parents simply need to learn the effects of substance use and talk to kids about it regularly.
In 2013, 2.2 million teens used opioids and other drugs. Maybe, if every parent had social distanced, masked and talked to their kids (“herd immunity”), we wouldn’t have had an opioid epidemic. Think about it.
To protect your kids and prevent the spread of addiction, contact Just Say Something at 864-467-4099 or justsaysomethingsc.org.