Syntero’s newest group, Bright Futures for Families (BFF), provides support to youth ages of 12-18 who have been impacted by someone else’s substance use—a parent, sibling, or other significant person. BFF is a safe space for youth to share their emotions, gain understanding of what a substance use disorder is, and learn skills to express themselves and cope with the stressor in a healthy way. Syntero is able to provide this group through funding from ADAMH of Franklin County. For more information or to make a referral, please contact Syntero Substance Use Prevention Specialist Amanda Niedermeyer.
Our Theme: Talk Early, Talk Often: Parents Can Make a Difference in Teen Alcohol Use
Alcohol use by young people is extremely dangerous—both to themselves and to society, and is directly associated with traffic fatalities, violence, suicide, educational failure, alcohol overdose, unsafe sex and other problem behaviors, even for those who may never develop a dependence or addiction. Adolescence is a time of heightened risk-taking and as alcohol and drugs enter the picture, parents are faced with a unique set of challenges. They can simply sit back and hope their kids will “get through it,” or they can take an active role in learning about alcohol and drugs and helping their kids do the same.
It can be daunting to talk with children about drinking and drug use, but it is well worth the effort parents put into it. In fact, research has shown that kids who have conversations with their parents and learn a lot about the dangers of alcohol and drug use are 50% less likely to use these substances than those who don’t have such conversations.
“Alcohol and drug use is a very risky business for young people,” says Andrew Pucher, President and Chief Executive Officer of NCADD, “and parents can make a difference. The longer children delay drinking and drug use, the less likely they are to develop any problems associated with it. That’s why it is so important to help your child make smart decisions about alcohol and drugs.”
An integral part of Alcohol Awareness Month is Alcohol-Free Weekend (April 1-3, 2016), which is designed to raise public awareness about the use of alcohol and how it may be affecting individuals, families, and the community. During this seventy-two-hour period, NCADD extends an open invitation to all Americans, young and old, to participate in three alcohol-free days and to use this time to contact local NCADD Affiliates and other alcoholism agencies to learn more about alcoholism and its early symptoms. (courtesy of NCADD)
The heroin epidemic is affecting communities all over the state of Ohio, including our community here in Dublin. Recently, on December 9, 2015 more than 200 people attended a Community Town Hall meeting at the Dublin Recreation Center to discuss this issue.
At the Town Hall, a father spoke of losing his 21-year-old son to a heroin overdose, one day after the young man got out of rehab. A mother told those gathered about her son, struggling with addiction. And a former addict shared his story of hitting rock bottom before finally starting the long road to recovery.
People who attended the town hall had a long list of questions for Dublin Police and the panel of experts at the meeting. How are police tracking where the drugs are coming from? What can parents do if they suspect drug use? What are we going to do differently to end this epidemic?
Not all of these questions have easy answers, but we do know one thing that we, as a community, can do differently – we are going to talk about the problem.
Because addiction fuels many of the property crimes in our City, heroin is affecting us all. A large number of thefts, thefts from vehicles and burglaries are directly tied to heroin abuse and addiction.
While property crimes are a major focus for the Dublin Police Department, the greater toll on communities is the human one – loved ones lost to overdose, or still alive but struggling with addiction to the point they are nearly unrecognizable to their friends and family.
For all these reasons, the heroin epidemic is a community problem, and it requires a community solution. You are part of that solution. We encourage you to report suspected drug abuse. In the event of an emergency, call 911. You can also report suspected drug activity by calling the non-emergency line at 614-889-1112, or by submitting an anonymous tip online at www.DublinOhioUSA.gov/contact-us/contact-the-police/.
For those of you directly affected by this epidemic, know there is help here in Dublin. The A.C.T. Coalition; PERC (Parents Encouraging Responsible Choices) and Syntero, Inc. are all valuable resources for families impacted by addiction. You can also always reach out to the Dublin Police Department for help.
The December town hall meeting was just the beginning of this community’s conversation on heroin abuse. We are going to keep talking about this for as long as it takes, and we encourage you to start talking, too – to your children, grandchildren, friends and neighbors. Chances are someone you know is affected by this epidemic.*
Heinz von Eckartsbeg is Chief of Police for the City of Dublin.
*City Scene Magazine/Dublin Life February-March 2016
A recent article in The Columbus Dispatch talked about the very real problem of teens and drub abuse in our community. The work of Dublin ACT (Adolescents and Community Together) and other community groups was featured as well as one family’s experiences. The message of that family and the community action groups: do not ignore the problem.
“Not talking about it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist,” said the Upper Arlington mother and graphic designer. “There’s a tightrope you’re walking. Parents alone can’t resolve it. We’re all in this together.”
Syntero, Inc. will launch its new Intensive Outpatient Program for Alcohol and Other Drugs designed specifically for the adolescent population ages 12-18 years. The program will be facilitated by licensed counselors specializing in addiction treatment and recovery. Group and individual therapy sessions take place outside of school hours – allowing individuals to remain mainstreamed while addressing their addiction issues. The program is state certified and evidenced based. For more information or to make a referral, call Valerie Horton, MS Ed, LPCC-S, LICDC at 889.5722. ext 141.