School is In, Let’s Kick Drugs Out

By: Porter County Substance Abuse Council Last Updated: August 30, 2012

Prescription-DrugsThe Porter County Substance Abuse Council is ready to help parents be prepared for a safe and fun school year. It has distributed over 2,000 Parent Guidebooks to Porter County schools for all new registrants this fall. Parents are urged to take time to read the guidebooks.

Prescription drug abuse is on the rise. Current statistics show that almost 21% of the population 12 and older in Indiana will, during their lifetime, abuse mood altering drugs. Prescription drug overdoses are on the rise, surpassing the number of traffic accidents in the United States.

While use of heroin has decreased, users are substituting prescription pain medication for heroin to achieve their high. Keep your prescription drugs secure and out of reach. To dispose of unwanted medication, there are medication drop-off boxes at the Police Departments in Chesterton, Portage, Porter and Valparaiso.

Parents can discover whether children are abusing drugs simply by paying attention. Your child might be abusing drugs if he or she: wears long sleeves or inappropriate clothing for the weather, drastically changes her taste in clothing or music; is always scratching; has a dry, red nose and face, is extremely fatigued, or complains of an upset stomach or nausea.

If you suspect your teenager of using drugs keep track of the mileage on your car, pay attention to how your teenager’s cash is being spent, watch for missing spoons, valuable items, small pieces of foil or baggies.

Parents can help their children learn to say no. First, parents can model saying no within earshot of their children. Second, parents can talk to their children about how to say no without feeling guilty or unlikable. The Parent Guidebook has further suggestions for parents.

Another tool for parents and children is a secret code. With a secret code, a child can contact one of his/her parents, say the code and know that the parents will understand. The code can mean simply: Come get me. Using this code will give the child security and provide the parents a safe mechanism for keeping the lines of communication open.

The Porter County Substance Abuse Council Guidebook informs parents about the types of illegal drugs and their street names. Included in the Guidebook is information on where to go locally for help and how to obtain a drug testing kit for $5. More information can be found at portercountysac.org.

Dedicated to working for a drug-free Porter County, the Substance Abuse Council is a coalition of treatment facilities, education providers, members of the justice community and concerned citizens. A member of the Governor’s Commission for a Drug Free Indiana, the Council has been providing funding to community resources for over fifteen years.