Maia Swartz Jessie Rodgers Errors spell the end of Devils’ baseball season Senior Profile: Carry Hayslip Lady Hounds’ season ends with tourney loss to Paint Valley North Adams hosts Youth Volleyball Camp Time to get “Stroke Savvy” OVCTC, GE host Community Service Day 65 years in the pulpit Jamison, Richmond, Minshew conquer second race of 2017 Brushcreek season Manchester’s Cox signs with Rio basketball program Senior Profile: Andrew Weeks A dozen SHAC champions Thomas D Lute Sandra F Schwab Turning something broken into something beautiful Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide One dead, two injured in ATV accident 2017 Graduation Ceremonies West Union Alumni and Friends Educational Fund announces 2017 Scholarship Awards TAG students tour Pennsylvania Commissioners proclaim Older Americans Month Building an anti-drug culture one t-shirt at a time SECTIONAL CHAMPIONS NAES students awarded Science Camp scholarships SSCC’s Associate Degree Nursing program celebrates graduation Bauman selected to National 4-H Congress Lois Pertuset Hazel Nixon Philip L Paeltz Manchester Youth Volleyball Camp begins May 30 Jase Thatcher Figgins’ walk-off winner sends North Adams to Division III sectional finals Lady Hounds top East 10-3 in sectional opener Commissioner Pell, union reps travel to DC Forgotten experience brings back good memories for WUHS seniors Gordon Boldman Local teen injured in jeep accident BCI Investigation underway Rick Arnold Happy Mother’s Day- Do you want food? Robert Hodge Melvin Tipton Lady Dragons Basketball Camp begins May 22 Lady Devils Basketball Camp is May 30-June 1 National Day of Prayer celebrated in county NAES students enjoy day at GABP Car strikes Amish buggy near Winchester Eldon J Shoenleben Farming out life lessons to children and parents Proposed Medicaid changes could cost Adams County millions Annual ‘Redneck Run” returns to Manchester May 13 They really were the best of times West Union hosts Junior High, High School County Track Meets Figgins signs with SSCC Soccer Perfect again! Senior Profile: Caley Grooms James T Hughes Anderson signs with Rio Grande Basketball Senior Profile: Miranda Schiltz Playing for Dad, Part II Lady Indians win SHAC Big School title Danny Bryant Sadie Stamm Franklin E Brayfield Softball, baseball tourney match ups announced Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall coming to Georgetown next week Southern Ohio Genealogical Society offers program on ‘Family History Sources at the Ohio History Center’ Joseph A Johnson Jr Kramer tosses two shutouts in five days Trip to Akron = two more wins for Lady Indians softball Devils blank Dragons in non-conference battle Meade twins part of Rio baseball program Playing for Dad Senior Profile: Madison Welch As Mr. Seas It, for ACOVSD High School graduates We stayed up all night with Bob Clean up of Manchester’s abandoned gas stations continues Ribbon cutting held for canoe/kayak access sites Columbus Industries donates driveway repair to Animal Shelter North Adams Elementary recognizes March Students of the Month Animal Shelter Adoption Center announces new hours of operation Major road construction planned for summer months West Union Elementary honors March Students of the Month Charles D Jordan Betty Ginn Pamela M Hampton Former county sheriff celebrates 80th birthday Missing Adams County man is found Lady Hounds fall to Whiteoak in slugfest Calvert’s walk-off gives Hounds 9-8 win over Whiteoak Charles A Benjamin Give My Regards to Broadway Joyce Berry Joe L Easter William E Foster Margaret Belcher John M Cheatham Ronnie Simpson Under new management county hospital is thriving against all odds

Meeting encourages parent, child communication

New anti-drug website promotes early, frequent conversations with children

Patricia Beech – People’s Defender

Can we impact drug addiction by talking?

“We can,” says Susan Smith, Director of StartTalking!, an anti-drug website with considerably more teeth than past anti-drug programs like Just Say No.

The state-sponsored site provides parents, teachers, students, and businesses with tools and strategies that help start conversations with young people about living healthy drug-free lives.

According to Smith, the drug problem in Ohio has reached epidemic proportions. At a recent luncheon hosted by Holly Johnson and the office of Economic Development, Smith told local leaders, “Heroin addiction knows no economic boundaries. Every day, six Ohioans from every walk of life are dying from prescription opiate and heroin overdoses.”

Smith is not a stranger to the damage, is passionate about bringing StartTalking into communities.

Interested audience members listen to Susan Smith's presentation on "Start Talking", an anti-drug website. Photo by Patricia Beech - People's Defender
Interested audience members listen to Susan Smith’s presentation on “Start Talking”, an anti-drug website.
Photo by Patricia Beech – People’s Defender

“As a state, we’ve tackled this problem head on since 2011. We know there are a lot of folks in the trenches right now, and they need recovery options, we’ve worked with those groups to help make that available. We’ve also worked with law enforcement officers all across the state to make sure our communities and roadways are safe, but we’re not going to arrest our way out of this.

StartTalking was launched to give parents, guardians, educators and community leaders information and educational strategies to start the conversation with Ohio’s youth.

Parents360 guides caregivers as they attempt to open communication channels with children. Parents360Rx provides current information about “in” drugs and drug paraphernalia, and is used to educate adults about the dangers of drug abuse. It includes an eleven minute video of five families sharing their stories. Some of whom lost their loved ones.

In addition to educating adults, Smith explains that StartTalking believes schools have a key role to play in the battle. “So many teachers around the state indicated they wanted simple resources to get conversations started in their classrooms.” The site offers teachers Teachable Moments tips to kick off conversations with students.

The site also provides peer leaders guidance, “We knew that the kids would have a key role to play in this as well,” Smith says, “We look to our peer leaders in our schools and communities to help aid in the fight.”

Smith hopes that giving adults factual information and resources will spur action. “Once parents and other adults are aware of the problem, we hope that they act, and actually start having these conversations. We partnered with a non-profit professional organization called the Drug-Free Action Alliance, their Prevention Specialist writes the prevention tips. The tips are short, but they don’t just cover prescribed drugs and heroin, they run the gambit. It’s information any adult will need when raising kids.”

While much of StartTalking deals with recognizing and helping addicted youth, its central focus is on Ohio’s children.

“We need to do something to stop the next generation from going down this path,” Smith said “That’s why we started StartTalking, to arm parents and other adults who deal with youths in our state. This material will help us to have meaningful conversations with our kids.” StartTalking was based on national research that showed kids are 50 percent less likely to use drugs if parents have critical conversations with them. “They’re not always easy, sometimes it can be difficult, but it’s important to have these early and often,” according to Smith, “It’s a simple message that can have a long-lasting impact on our kids.”

For more information go to Start Talking@Ohio.gov.

Patricia Beech can be reached at 937-544-2391 or at pbeech@peoplesdefender.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© The People's Defender - All rights reserved