Pubdate: Fri, 30 Oct 2015
Source: Morning Star, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2015 The Morning Star
Author: Jennifer Smith


North Okanagan parents are being armed with the facts so they can slay
the myths as they talk to their kids about drugs.

Dr. Marvin Krank will provide a public presentation Tuesday at 7 p.m.
at Vernon Secondary School.

"Talking To Your Kids About Drugs will outline some of the common yet
inaccurate and risky misconceptions youth have about drugs and
alcohol," said Krank, professor of psychology at UBC's Okanagan
campus. His research focuses on the development of substance abuse in
teens and young adults. Over the past 20 years he has studied the
unrealistic thoughts and beliefs held by youth that lead to risky
substance use and he will share that evidence at the

The Vernon School District encourages parents to take advantage of
Krank's expertise and advice to assist them with communicating with
their kids.

"Conversations with kids work best when they are honest and open,"
said Doug Rogers, the school district's substance abuse prevention
counsellor. "We need to listen to our kids and offer them constructive
avenues to deal with stress, anxiety and any other issues which may be
bothering them."

Rogers urges parents to set clear and firm expectations and boundaries
with their children while also urging them to use prevention strategies.

"Our kids need to be able to say no and still maintain friendships (we
need to build our kids self-esteem). Finally, we need to show our kids
that they can have fun without using drugs or alcohol."

During the presentation, Krank will provide practical advice on how to
interact with your kids to help shape healthier beliefs that lead to
reduced substance use risks.

"This talk will be of interest to all parents who want to know more
about substance abuse in youth and what they might do to prevent it."

Along with being a parent, Krank's credentials on the subject include
being co-chair of the Canadian Council on Substance Abuse committees
on prevention standards and recently served on the United Nations
scientific advisory committee on prevention program evaluation.

"Youth over-estimate how much others use and expect mostly positive
effects from use. Understanding the source of these biases gives new
insights into how effective prevention works," he said.

Currently, Krank is testing a new program designed to change biased
thinking to delay substance use and reduce substance abuse in teens
and university students.
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