Two community programs scheduled to help prevent child substance abuse

As a parent, I want to always keep my son safe – from bee stings, strangers and everything in between! For me, drug and alcohol abuse is the “in between.” As a substance abuse professional residing in Bay Village, I am acutely aware of how drug addiction and alcoholism can impact an individual’s life. 

Every day I see the struggles of people faced with addiction. Most of them started using marijuana and alcohol when they were teenagers and none of them intended to become addicted.

What starts out as fun and experimental often turns deadly serious. Most of the clients I work with grew up in “normal” towns, just like ours. They had good neighbors and excellent school systems but still fell prey to this disease because addiction knows no boundaries. I know I can’t shelter my son from all of life’s adversities or ensure he always makes good choices, but I can arm myself with as much information as possible, to provide him guidance.

I want to invite you as members of my community to combat addiction through knowledge and improve the health of our children within our community.  Here are two ways to make a difference:

Attend the student/parent program "Let's Talk About It" at Bay Middle School, 27725 Wolf Rd., on Monday, April 23rd, at 7 p.m. Parents and children will learn about addiction and ways to communicate with each other more effectively. The program will be divided into a separate parent and student groups. For parents, an expert panel will answer questions, and the parent of a child with a heroin addiction will share this powerful story. In the student group, two local teens in recovery will share the story of their drug addiction, the strength gained from recovery, and their hope as they live sober lives.

Attend a town hall meeting and panel discussion on Wednesday, April 25, 7-9 p.m. at Rocky River Presbyterian Church, 21750 Detroit Rd. The program, entitled "Risky Business: What you don't know can hurt you or someone you love," will feature a panel of local adult/teen experts for a reality check on alcohol, drugs and risky behavior of Westshore teens. Learn how we can and should respond as a community.

Admission is free to both programs, and all are welcome to attend and participate.

The town hall event is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and coordinated by staff from Recovery Resources/Community Challenge, the Westshore Enforcement Bureau and McKeon Education Group.

If you’d like more information about preventing alcohol and drug abuse, visit Recovery Resources’ website,, and click on “Teen Triumph.”

Jen Tulli

Jennifer Tulli is an Independently Licensed Social Worker and a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor.

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Volume 4, Issue 8, Posted 11:13 AM, 04.17.2012