Straight Talk: What Every Parent Needs to Know about Alcohol, Drugs, and Teens

Over the last year, several informal surveys taken throughout the district indicated a desire on the part of parents for information on drugs and alcohol. As a result, a three part series entitled STRAIGHT TALK has been designed for all district parents who want to learn more about these topics.
These forums will be of great benefit to the parents of ALL Madison school children, no matter their ages. The following statistics from the Partnership for a Drug Free America and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration are quite alarming and demonstrate the need for these events in the Madison area.

· 1 in 5 teens has tried Vicodin, a narcotic pain reliever, to get high.
· 1 in 11 has admitted to getting high on cough medication.
· 25% of 8th graders and 53% of 12 graders report drinking alcohol in the past month with 25%-30% reporting binge drinking (over 5 drinks during an occasion) in the last two weeks.
· Methamphetamine is one of the biggest concerns in Wisconsin due to its almost hand-in-hand connection to violent gangs.
January 18, 6:30-8:30 pm, East High School Theater. The focus of this evening will be prescription and over the counter drugs currently being abused by school-aged children. (Statistics are that kids as young as 4th grade are abusing cough meds!)
Presenters: Special Agent Greg Phillips, WI Department of Justice
Catherine Zdeblick, Became a national speaker following the death of her own daughter from an Oxycontin overdose.
Madison Police Department, Dane County Task Force on Narcotics
MMSD Alcohol/Drug Prevention Coordinators
February 22, 6:30-8:30 pm, Memorial High School Theater 300 This evening will focus on alcohol abuse among teens. (Statistics are that up to 50% of kids have tried alcohol by the time they reach 8th grade!)
Presenters: UW Professor Kristi Obmascher currently teaching a UW class on binge drinking; Scott Caldwell, UW Adolescent Alcohol/Drug Abuse Prevention Program; Madison Police Department, Dane County Task Force on Narcotics; MMSD Alcohol/drug Prevention Coordinators
April 5, 6:30-8:30 pm, MMSD Administration Building, 545 West Dayton St. The focus of this evening will be the rise in methamphetamine use in Wisconsin. (Statistics are that 85% of users become addicted with a less than 5% recovery rate!)
Presenters: Special Agent Jay Smith, WI Department of Justice
Madison Police Department, Dane County Task Force on Narcotics
MMSD Alcohol/Drug Prevention Coordinators
In addition to the expert guest speakers, Madison police specialists will be at each presentation with a display of various drugs and drug paraphernalia for parents to view. They will be also talking about marijuana and inhalants!!! (Inhalants are one of the biggest late elementary and middle school issues! We have attempted to secure speakers who are highly competent in their field of expertise and will be able to speak to what is currently happening with Madison school-aged children. Parents attending the presentations will be encouraged to ask questions. Madison Metropolitan Social Workers, Jan Lorch and Betsy Hambrick, will also present on ways to increase effective communications with your children about these difficult subjects. Numerous handouts will be available addressing these issues and providing resources for families seeking help. We are also arranging to have translators for Hmong and Spanish at the presentations.
Due to the sensitivity of the material presented, we encourage only adult attendance.
Any questions? Please feel free to contact:
Jan Lorch, AODA/Violence Prevention/Memorial (442-2323) or
Betsy Hambrick, AODA/Violence Prevention/East (204-1662)