Pubdate: Tue, 02 Jun 2015
Source: Daily Press, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2015 Sun Media
Author: Ron Grech
Page: A1


For decades, marijuana has drug of choice for young looking to get high.

However, the use of methamphetamines is dramatically on the rise.

"Kids still smoke marijuana but speed (methamphetamines) has become a 
very big problem," said Timmins Police Const. Matthew Beerman, who is 
spearheading a Straight Talk on Drugs session for parents next week.

"Also, now kids are taking marijuana and they are using butane to 
break it down and turning it into a substance called dab or shatter 
which is a highly concentrated form of marijuana and it is very 
dangerous. High experienced users can take it once and end up in the 
hospital on an overdose."

Straight Talk on Drugs is an evening dedicated to equipping and 
encouraging parents as they deal with the dangers of drug use amongst 
their teen children. It is being held at the Porcupine Dante Club on 
Tuesday, June 6 beginning at 6 p.m.

There will be presentations by two parents, George Couchie and Gary 
Leduc who will share their experiences of having to deal with drug 
addiction with their children.

Yvonne McClinchey from South Porcupine Addiction Services will speak 
about the various support agencies that can assist parents and an 
officer with the Timmins Police Service Drug Unit will give a 
presentation about the current trends in drug use among teens.

The evening is intended for parents of junior high and high school students.

"When I go to principals meetings, all the principals across Timmins 
say they have the same problem. Their No. 1 problem in their schools 
is drug use, and it brings up so many other problems. Not only are 
kids showing up to school high, not only are they dealing (drugs) at 
the schools but it also contributes to absenteeism, grades being 
affected, confrontations with teachers. It's just a problem that has 
so many different heads on it that the schools are trying to deal with."

Beerman said in the past police have tried to address the issue by 
inviting guest speakers to share their rocky experiences as drug 
addicts to students.

"One of the problems that we came to was that when we just speak to 
students about the dangers of drug addiction, and the dangers of drug 
use amongst teenagers, we're only dealing with half of the audience 
because we should be talking to their parents as well."

Beerman said the goal is to make parents "aware of what's going on 
and I want them to have an understanding of what their kids are 
facing ... When they don't know what to talk about, then they feel 
hesitant to talk about it. If they have more understanding, and if 
they have more of an education about what's going on, and if they 
hear other parents who talk about what it was like to go through drug 
addiction with their teenagers, this will spur them on to take this 
issue more seriously, and to be more engaged and more aware of what 
their kids are doing.

"I think one of the easiest things parents can do with their kids is 
stay up at night and make sure they talk to their kids when they come 
home from wherever they have been. Because if they will do that, they 
will see, 'Hey, something is not right with you.' But so many parents 
will say, 'Oh, I trust my kid, and I'm going to bed' and their kid 
comes home and there is no face-to-face and what ends up happening is 
they are not even aware of what their kids are doing."

Part of the problem, Beerman said, is that parents nowadays are very 
busy and consequently "sometimes interaction with their teenagers can 
be minimized."

Even though the event and dinner is free, tickets are required to 
confirm the number of attendees. Tickets are available through the 
junior high and high schools.

They are only available up until this Friday.
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