PARENTS KEY TO KIDS’ SUCCESS, SAYS EDUCATOR
Drug prevention conference gives parents tools for their kids to avoid drugs and gangs.
A record number of Hispanic parents and teens attended the 14th Annual Drug and Alcohol Prevention and Education Conference in Encinitas, California. The program was hosted by Ms. Beatriz Villarreal, founder of the Mano a Mano Foundation, a program that empowers Latino parents to help their teenage children succeed by steering them clear of drugs and gangs.
The conference included presentations by the Encinitas Sheriff’s Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the California Highway Patrol.
In 2014, 13 percent of men and 15 percent of women arrested in San Diego County tested positive for heroin, more than double that of 2002. And 75-80 percent of the kids in juvenile hall are Latino with drugs a critical factor in their imprisonment, points out Villarreal.
Key to turning this scene around is parental involvement. But Villarreal has found that most parents steer clear of the subject—they feel they don’t know enough to talk to their kids about drugs.
“If we don’t start educating the parents to teach their kids, we’re never going to stop addiction,” she says. Villarreal has adopted Drug-Free World’s materials in her program, and the PSAs and documentary formed a key component of the conference.
“One mom showed her son The Truth About Drugs materials after he started smoking marijuana and he stopped using drugs,” she says. “I have several cases like that—the materials are that powerful.”
WE really WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU
We surveyed hundreds of US educators and drug prevention specialists currently using The Truth About Drugs materials to get their feedback on the program. Here is what they said:
MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHER, WYOMING “I have seen a lot of success among 5th and 6th graders with this program. I have heard back from parents saying their child came home from school, told them all about the lessons and that they were never going to use drugs.”
HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER, MONTANA “The ads were a favorite for the students. Thank you for such vivid images depicting the effects of drugs.”
DRIVER’S EDUCATION INSTRUCTOR, OREGON “I appreciate the organized, clear method you use to educate and appeal to both youth and adults the need to take the risk of drug use seriously.”
SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICER, ARKANSAS “I use the material when I teach students about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. I have a wide variety of ages from middle school to high school age. They love the videos where it is ‘real’ people talking about things that have happened to them. I think that the material really makes an impact on the students.”
JUVENILE SUBSTANCE ABUSE SPECIALIST, LOUISIANA “My clients seem to be greatly impressed by the documentaries. Also the booklets are extremely informative and promote a lot of questioning and fact checking. Implementing this program has been a very positive experience.”
MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHER, OHIO “My students have really responded well to this program. I have tried other programs in the past and none have been as hard hitting as this program. Thank you so much for what you do.”
Support the Foundation for a Drug-Free World and help protect young lives from the destructive effects of drugs. Your contributions enable us to make our educational materials available free of charge to schools, youth organizations and other groups and individuals. Your support helps empower people with the facts they need to live healthy, drug-free lives.