The “Light is Still On” at the Atascadero Greyhound Foundation as we continue the important work of the LIGHTHOUSE Programs of Awareness, Prevention, Intervention and Education, providing direct support to students and families/caregivers to reduce the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. National Prevention Week is May 9 through 15, 2021. Each year around this observance communities all over the country come together to raise awareness about the importance of substance abuse use prevention and positive mental health. This week, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSHA), we are launching our Talk. They Hear YouCampaign. Since the beginning of our LIGHTHOUSE programs in 2012, the Atascadero Greyhound Foundation has been providing resources to empower parents/caregivers to talk with their children and youth to prevent underaged drinking and substance use. www.lighthouseatascadero.org–(Youth Support/Resources).
Parents and caregivers play a key role in prevention. Although it may not seem like it, when parents and caregivers talk about underage drinking and substance use, their children will hear them. Research suggests that the chances children will try alcohol or other drugs increases as they get older. In the 2019-2020 CA Healthy Kids Survey, over 25% of the Atascadero Unified School District’s eleventh graders self-reported they currently use alcohol and other drugs. It is our goal, through the Talk. They Hear YouCampaign to increase parent and caregiver’s awareness of the prevalence and risk of underaged drinking and substance use; equip them with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to prevent underage drinking and substance use; and increase their actions to prevent underage drinking and substance use.
Research suggests the one most important factor in healthy child development is a strong, open relationship with parents. It is important to talk to your children about alcohol and other drug use before they are exposed to them. Five important conversation goals are: 1) Show you disapprove of underage drinking and other drug misuse. 2) Show you care about your child’s health, wellness, and success. 3) Show you are a good source of information about alcohol and other drugs. 4) Show you are paying attention and you will discourage risky behaviors. 5) Build your child’s skills and strategies for avoiding drinking and drug use.
Information, (in English and Spanish) on how to reach these goals and have these important conversations can be found on our website, www.atascaderogreyhoundfoundation.org, under the Talk. They Hear Youtab. Parents and Caregivers are an important part of the work in the prevention of underage drinking and substance use. Through the Talk. They Hear YouCampaign, we will support you in this important role.
Please follow us on Facebook for additional resources, as well as announcements regarding upcoming fundraising events. We look forward to continuing our strong relationships with our community supporters. Donations can be made through our websites or by check and mailed to Atascadero Greyhound Foundation, P.O. Box 3120, Atascadero, CA 93422.