EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado - Parents can learn about drugs and substance abuse, and how to spot the signs in their children.
The Eagle County Sheriff's Office is presenting notMYkid, a free substance abuse prevention workshop. The workshop is for parents; kids are not invited.
Parents will learn about drug issues, trends, terminology, see photos of paraphernalia and get tips on talking to their kids about drugs. They'll also get help in being proactive with a drug prevention plan for their families.
Show up early enough and you can get a First Check in-home drug test kit. The kits check for seven illicit and five prescription drugs.
"Quite often just having the kit in the home is enough of a deterrent for middle school students," said Deputy Megan Richards, school resource officer with the Eagle County Sheriff's Office.
Peer pressure to experiment with drugs begins in middle school and continues through high school, Richards said.
"The average age for first time drug use is 13 years old, which is why the Eagle County Sheriff's office and notMYkid believe it so important to educate parents before their kids are teens," Richards said.
Studies show kids ages 12-17 find prescription drugs are easier to get than beer. Of those who use or abuse prescription drugs 65 percent get them from their home or a friend's house. Additionally, of the kids who come home later then 10 p.m. on a school nights, 50 percent report marijuana or other drug use, according to a Center for Addiction and Substance Abuse report.
"NotMYkid's program is unique because it encourages proactive, two-way communications between parent and child to prevent drug use before it happens," said Julie Shockley, manager of Adult Educational Services for notMYkid. "We provide resources so parents can develop a substance abuse prevention plan that works for their family, and offer home drug test kits which offer kids an easy way to say no to peer pressure."