Drug awareness-prevention workshop offered parents

Youth Eastside Services (YES), is offering a free Drug Awareness and Prevention Workshop to help parents learn more about the latest teen drug trends, including heroin. ABC Newsmagazine 20/20 aired a program Oct. 29 on the increased use of heroin among middle-class youth and recently there have been reports of widespread heroin use by teens in the Stanwood area. Drug and alcohol counselors at YES are seeing an increased use by teens on the Eastside as well.

“The best way to keep your child safe is to become an informed advocate,” said Linda Penhallegon, director of substance abuse services for YES. She adds that while heroin use in teens is very concerning, it is still not the biggest substance abuse problem with youth.

The workshop will cover heroin and other substance abuse trends in teens, help parents understand the symptoms of drug use and review prevention and intervention strategies as well as available resources in the community.

Heroin is a concern because it’s so highly addictive. It has increased in popularity with youth in part because it can be smoked or snorted and it’s relatively affordable. Because it’s an opiate, it often is the next drug of choice for kids who have been using prescription pain killers.

The workshop will be Nov. 20, 10 a.m. to noon at YES’ Bellevue location at Crossroads Park, 999 164th Ave. NE, Bellevue. It’s free, but space is limited. Parents can register by calling 425-747-4937. More information is also available online at www.YouthEastsideServices.org.