Pubdate: Thu, 10 May 2007
Source: Advertiser (CN NF)
Copyright: 2007 Advertiser
Bookmark: (Drug Education)
Author: Sue Hickey


It may be organized by the Calvary Pentecostal Church, but it's not 

It may have "kids" in the title, but the targets are parents.

It's not your typical anti-drug program but rather an information 
session for parents and others involved with youth about drug 
prevention and intervention.

"Drug Proof Your Kids" is a new program, explained co-organizer Craig 
Cole, who with his youth pastor helped to put together. DPYK 
originated in Australia and is now offered in some parts of Canada.

The RCMP isn't familiar with DPYK but is planning to have a drug 
awareness representative at the seminar.

"They're willing to come down and present what they have in the way 
of videos and paraphernalia to show parents," said Mr. Cole.

The May 17 initial session is an introduction to the program.

In addition to the RCMP representative, the other guest speaker will 
be Glen Newman, a Focus on the Family representative for DPYK. Mr. 
Newman travels through the Maritime provinces teaching the program.

"The outcome of this night is to let the parents see that there is 
something there that can help them," said Mr. Cole. "I and another 
one of my friends and whoever we can get involved can be trained to 
present these programs to the parents in the near future.

The rest of the program will feature six weeks of seminars (one 
two-hour session each week) for parents. They receive a book as part 
of the sessions as well, which will also include hands-on experience 
for the participants, talking, watching videos, and carrying out activities.

Essentially, the participants are being taught why youth may be 
taking drugs and how to handle kids who may be involved with the 
substances in question.

"You'd be surprised at the lack of knowledge of what's going in our 
town," said Mr. Cole. "I spoke to some people lately and they never 
had the sweetest idea that there are some very bad drugs here, 
cocaine being one of them. There are many more since I was in high school.

"A lot of people are very naive. I'm not a parent myself, but I've 
been on the streets many times in my younger years and I've seen 
what's out there. I don't think parents really know what it's about 
or how to handle it.

That's what this night is all about, is to create awareness."

Sergeant Harold Nippard agrees the central region is seeing more than 
its share of illegal substances, more diverse than the stereotypical 
soft drugs like marijuana.

"There's not only marijuana, but there's ecstasy, cocaine, even 
heroin," he said.

While the idea for the program came from both Mr. Cole and youth 
pastor Russell Austin, Mr. Cole stresses that it's non-denominational.

"It's not a religious program," added Pastor Austin. "We want to 
extend a helping hand to the community and help to educate people."
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