Panel for parents, students targets substance abuse |

Panel for parents, students targets substance abuse

Daily staff report
Vail, CO Colorado

AVON, Colorado – Parents, middle school students, and anyone working with young people are invited to attend a free panel discussion on students transitioning from middle school to high school Tuesday at the WECMRD Fieldhouse in Edwards. This dynamic session of the “Parents You Matter” Dinner and Dialogue series will provide guidance and tips on how to take an active approach in preventing and reducing substance use and abuse. A buffet-style dinner will be provided at 6 p.m. followed by speaker presentations and group discussion.

The Eagle River Youth Coalition and VVF’s Youth Foundation will be bringing together a panel of professionals to discuss concerns, trends and healthy alternatives surrounding substance use and abuse. Featured panelists include Carlos Abel (Vail Valley Medical Center SBIRT health educator), Kristi Grems (Colorado West Regional Mental Health Program coordinator and clinician), and Megan Richards (Eagle County Sheriff’s Office senior deputy and school resource officer).

Local data proves that alcohol, marijuana and illicit drug use among Eagle County youth is occurring at alarming rates, with many substances being used at higher degrees than state and national averages. However, parents, peers, and other community members can take an active role in helping prevent negative behaviors and in encouraging healthy alternatives. During this session, participants will learn about how addiction develops and receive tips on how you can help prevent youth from experimenting with negative substances. This event will provide education on local resources and support for individuals who are engaging in substance use or abuse, and offer opportunities for healthy, safe alternatives.

Parents and teens are encouraged to come with their own questions for the panelists. This is a bilingual event, and a free buffet-style dinner and free childcare will be provided. Contact Jason at the Eagle River Youth Coalition to register at 970-949-9250 or

The Eagle River Youth Coalition brings together more than 20 youth-serving organizations to collaborate around the opportunities and challenges facing youth to ensure young people can become healthy and successful adults. In an effort to educate parents and create a community support network for them, the coalition created the Dinner and Dialogue series to address challenges parents face in the Valley. Through a series of relevant informational discussions, Dinner and Dialogue empowers parents to facilitate good decision-making with their children.

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