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notMYkid Substance Abuse Presentation held for SRPMIC Members and Employees

Shane Watson of notMYkid showed parents what youth could be hiding their drugs and paraphernalia in, which could be as simple as a water bottle.

The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community’s WellPath program offered SRPMIC members and employees an opportunity to learn about and understand the influences driving today’s substance-abuse trends through a presentation from the notMYkid organization. The presentation was held in the SRPMIC Council chambers on Monday, September 16.

notMYkid helps address and prevent substance abuse, bullying, addiction, suicide and mental illness by working with youth and their families to come up with positive solutions to become healthy once again.

The presentation, given by Shane Watson, notMYkid project manager for Project REWIND, focused on effective identification of substance abuse with teens and what strategies to use when creating a family drug-prevention plan. Watson reviewed what drugs are currently popular with middle school and high school children and the dangers of those drugs, when and why drug use with teens began, and what do about these issues.

Increase Awareness

Would you recognize some of the most common drugs that are being misused or abused if you saw them in your child’s backpack, purse or room? Watson showed pictures of drugs such as marijuana, vaping devices, pills, alcohol and THC concentrate to help educate the audience to be better aware of what substances their children may have.

Watson stressed to parents and guardians the importance of talking to their children about these drugs and their dangers by taking advantage of any opportunity they have with their children to talk to them and listen. Let them talk to you and listen without overreacting to what they tell you, Watson said. This will help them open up without feeling like they are being grilled. Don’t be afraid to ask your child what they already know about drugs. Educate them about the dangers of drugs, and make sure you are ready for any questions they may have. Connect with them through current events by using news stories or television shows to start conversations. Share alcohol- or drug-related stories to remind them of the dangers of using.

Take Action

Watson provided information on prevention strategies families can use:

Consistency: Be consistent with engaging, positive activities and talking with your child to help prevent them from using drugs.

Communication: Talk with your children, know what’s going on in their lives and educate them on the consequence of using drugs.

Educating Yourself: Educating yourself on what new drug trends are out there helps you become aware of the signs and symptoms of drug abuse.

Honesty: Being honest with your child will give them assurance and trust; when you share stories of family history or personal history involving drugs, it shows that you are being honest with them.

Deterrence: By deterring you are preventing misuse or abuse of drugs. You can do this by disposing of or locking up prescription medications and being aware of household items that can be used to get high. Create a home where kids feel comfortable and loved.

Monitoring: Monitor your children—know who their friends are, be aware of their internet use and what they are posting online, check their rooms on a regular basis and discuss boundaries.

All attendees received a free home drug-testing kit provided by First Check, a Substance Use Prevention Packet and a customizable Family Prevention Plan.

For more information on notMYkid, visit https://notmykid.org. To learn more about upcoming SRPMIC WellPath events, call (480) 362-7935.