East Area YMCA to host drug abuse prevention forum

If your teen started using alcohol or marijuana, would you recognize the signs? What if it were heroin, prescription pills or “bath salts,” all of which are used by teens locally?

Parents of teens and pre-teens need to know the trends and signs of teen drug use so they can keep their kids safe. To help, the East Area Family YMCA will host a forum for parents at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11. The event, organized by Manlius Town Justice Bob O’Leary, will allow parents to learn from local experts in teen drug use. Speakers will include Wil Perez, Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor, of Liverpool; Ben Lesperance, school resource officer at Fayetteville-Manlius High School; and Angela Palmer, Manlius Police Department community service officer.

The dangers of drug use are higher today than they were when today’s parents were teens, Perez said. Marijuana is dramatically more potent, and opiates can be as close as the medicine cabinet. Parents who think they don’t need to know the signs of teen drug use are ignoring a potential risk, he said.

“Even if your kid’s a good kid, that doesn’t mean you don’t need to know the signs,” Perez said.

The forum will be moderated by Diane Montgomery and Tracey Noble, who serve as members of the East Area Family YMCA Board of Managers.

The forum will be held at the East Area YMCA, located at 200 Towne Drive, Fayetteville. For more information, contact Kelly Miner, associate executive director, at kminer@syracuseymca.org or 637-2025, ext. 204.

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