RMH presents drug, alcohol abuse awareness program

RMH and the Supporters of Sobriety Amongst Youth (SOSAY) have teamed together to offer the special addiction prevention program “Just Say Know: The Science Behind Drug and Alcohol Abuse.” The presentation will be held at 7 p.m. May 7 in the East Rockingham High School Auditorium.

The program, presented by Jennifer Johnson, Outpatient Program Manager for RMH Behavioral Health, aims to teach parents the science of addiction so they are better equipped to answer their children’s questions and identify warning signs.

“Saying ‘No’ to drugs is just one part of the equation,” Johnson said. “Parents need to be able to answer all their child’s questions about drugs, alcohol and addiction. We want parents to be prepared and informed.”

Johnson said most children understand that drugs, such as bath salts, marijuana and cocaine, are bad but lack the knowledge of why. The presentation will also focus on how a person can get addicted and what the signs of addiction are.

The 2009 Youth Data Survey reported that 25 percent of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County eighth, 10th and 12th graders used some type of illicit drug. Nearly half of those students also reported drinking alcohol.

“Parents do their best to research and understand what choices their children have, but it’s not easy,” Johnson said. “Parents are the frontline troops in the battle against underage drinking and drug abuse. Whether children admit it or not, they learn from and listen to their parents about drugs and alcohol.”

SOSAY, the co-host of the event, is a group of citizens with the goal of educating parents, adults and youth on the devastating effects of drugs before they choose them.


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