Chelsea Currie Addiction Counsellor Treena Mielke Photo

Good response to kids and drugs program

Substance abuse prevention program held

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

Kids and Drugs, a program designed by Alberta health Services and the RCMP to give parents valuable tools to help their children avoid alcohol and drug abuse has been introduced in Rimbey.

Chelsea Currie, addiction counselor in community addiction and mental health for Alberta Health Services, facilitated a Kids and Drugs workshop Nov. 14 at the Rimbey library.

She was pleased with the response.

“There was excellent engagement from all the participants,” she said.

Kids and Drugs is a substance abuse prevention program targeted to parents of school-age children. The focus of the program is to inform and advise parents and caregivers who want to learn more about their role and the content is built on known protective factors for substance abuse prevention.

It strives to improve interactions between kids and parents through improved communication, support, decision-making and discipline.

Currie emphasized that the role of parents is one of huge importance in children’s lives.

“Parents are role models and the most important people in their child’s life,” she said.

Parents need to realize communication skills are crucial if they want their children to feel safe enough to open up and talk honestly about drugs.

She stressed that active non-judgmental listening skills are essential communication building blocks.

“Hear your children and be especially careful not to jump in and reply,” she said.

Helping their children build on their developmental assets such as positive friends and a healthy, safe school environment is another valuable tool and helps reduce the chance of risky behavior, she said.

Tobacco, marijuana and alcohol are the most commonly used drugs, Currie said.

“Any substance which is taken to change the way the body or mind functions is considered a drug,” she said.

Currie is hoping to hold another workshop related to Kids and Drugs in the spring if enough interest is shown.

For more information about Kids and Drugs or for other concerns related to addiction contact Chelsea Currie at 403-843-2406. The addiction counselor is in Rimbey three days a week.

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