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What You Need to Know...

A parent’s handbook on youth alcohol and drug use

acknowledgements Special thanks to the Mountain Brook Anti-Drug Coalition, Hoover City Schools and the Shelby County Coalition for Safe and Drug-Free Communities for allowing us to use their parent handbooks as a guide. PARENT HANDBOOK COMMITTEE Michelle Belovsky MCSAN Paige Bibbee Decatur City Council of PTAs Sue Brantley Mental Health Association Phil Hastings Decatur City Schools Jackie Kinney Morgan County Schools Michele Moore Quest Recovery Center Dr. Franklin Penn Hartselle City Schools

Morgan County Substance Abuse Network Funding provided by a Drug Free Communities Support Program Grant and a School-Based Student Drug-Testing Grant from the U.S. Department of Education


contents Letters from Our Superintendents . ...................................................................... 2 Letter from Judge David Breland ......................................................................... 3 Morgan County Substance Abuse Network .......................................................... 4 What’s the Problem? . ........................................................................................... 5 • Local PRIDE Survey Summary Parents, Do You Matter?........................................................................................ 6 Alcohol ................................................................................................................ 7 Tobacco . .............................................................................................................. 8 Marijuana ...................................................................................................... 8 - 9 • Marijuana and Mental Health Inhalants ...................................................................................................... 10-11 Prescription Drug Abuse – The Intentional High ....................................... 11 - 14 • The 411 on Rx Drugs - Why Should Parents Care?

• Where Do Teens Get Rx Drugs?

What Should I Be Looking For? ......................................................................... 15 Speak Up!  The Power of Parental Influence ................................................. 16 - 17 Risk & Protective Factors for Alcohol and Drug Use .......................................... 18 It’s the Law! ........................................................................................................ 19

• Liability

Parties .......................................................................................................... 20-21 Preventing Parties When You Are Out Of Town............................................ 21-22 Thoughts to Consider ........................................................................................ 22

• What Do You Do If Your Teen Comes Home Under the Influence?

Resources ..................................................................................................... 23-29 • School Directories • Local Resources       • National Resources


Letters from our superintendents Dr. Sam L. Houston, Superintendent Decatur City Schools Research shows that youth drug use remains at high levels. Substance abuse is a community problem. It takes all of us working together to provide support, intervention and resources to combat this threat to our youth and society. This handbook for parents has been prepared with the understanding that parents are their child’s most important teacher. What parents say and do about drugs matters a lot when it comes to the choices their children make. The message must be clear: Don’t use drugs. Tips contained within this handbook will provide you with suggestions for keeping your child drug free. Working together, we can make a difference for our children and our community. Children will have more support to live drug free lives when schools, parents and community agencies work together to present the anti-drug message. I hope you find this handbook useful and helpful.   Dr. Mike Reed, Superintendent Hartselle City Schools On behalf of the Hartselle City Board of Education and our staff, I want to say thank you to the Morgan County Substance Abuse Network for providing this extremely useful information to the parents of students attending Hartselle, Decatur and Morgan County schools. I hope all parents will take time to read this information and discuss it with their children. As the problem of drug and alcohol abuse continues to be one of the most serious problems in our society, it is important for the people of our community to be better informed of the services available relating to this problem. Robert L. Balch, Superintendent Morgan County Schools Drug and alcohol problems associated with our youth are of paramount importance to our school system. We greatly appreciate the agencies that have formed partnerships with the Morgan County School System to find solutions to these issues. As a result of these partnerships, we are making signficant progress in eliminating these problems. The Morgan County School System is dedicated to working with these agencies in a continued effort to move forward in these areas. Our commitment to have drug-free and alcohol-free schools is unwavering. We will continue to enlist the help of our parents in this undertaking. Providing them with information they can use to educate, influence, model and lead our children to make the right decisions is necessary for providing our students a healthy lifestyle. This booklet formed by our partnership is designed to provide that information. Each child is important, and together, we can make a difference.



Morgan County Courthouse, P.O. Box 668, Decatur, Alabama 35602 Telephone (256) 351-4760    A Message from David J. Breland, Retired District/Juvenile Court Judge, Morgan County, Alabama   For twenty-five years I had the privilege of serving the citizens of Morgan County as a District and Juvenile Court Judge. I have had the further privilege for the past 25 years of serving as the Co-Chairman of the Morgan County Substance Abuse Network, an organization dedicated to the prevention of substance abuse among the citizens and in particular among the youth of Morgan County. During its existence MCSAN has provided numerous seminars, workshops and similar educational opportunities for both professionals and parents and children in Morgan County with regard to substance abuse prevention and treatment. In addition, MCSAN has helped to develop a substance abuse curriculum for each of the three school systems in our county, has developed numerous programs to provide drug free alternative activities for the children and youth of our community and MCSAN is especially known for its annual drug free youth march and its Given The Opportunity grant awards to provide area children and youth an opportunity to “give back” to the citizens of our county thought community service opportunities. In short, MCSAN has been very instrumental in promoting drug awareness issues among our citizens as well as encouraging collaboration among area agencies in addressing the challenges opposed by substance abuse. I am very grateful to the Mental Health Association for developing this very fine handbook for parents and other persons who are interested in the welfare of our children. The director of the Mental Health Association, Sue Brantley, has not only co-chaired the Morgan county Substance Abuse Network for the past approximately twenty years, but she is the driving force for the work of that organization. It is thus appropriate that the Mental Health Association has taken the lead in the formulation of this handbook. It is my hope and desire that many parents and other adults will receive useful information from this handbook and will have many questions answered by its contents. It is sometimes said, “knowledge is power”. I believe that this is certainly true with regard to the health and well being of our children. That this handbook, is a collaborative effort of many agencies, is indicative of the desire of mental health professionals, educators, court officials, law enforcement agencies, treatment facilities, child welfare agencies, nonprofit organizations and others to commit to excellence in caring for our children and youth. I trust that you will find this handbook both useful and informative.    

Very truly yours,

David J. Breland Retired District/Juvenile Court Judge


P.O. Box 1502 • Decatur, Alabama 35602 • (256) 353-1160 • Fax (256) 353-1163

The Morgan County Substance Abuse Network (MCSAN) was organized in 1983 as a community coalition to focus on substance abuse prevention, intervention and treament. In 1992 it was voted to allow the Mental Health Association to become the fiscal agent for MCSAN and provide administrative leadership. Programs include: Project ID is a voluntary drug-testing program for middle school students. Students who participate (with parent permission) agree to random drug testing and to remain drug free. Project ID cards are issued to students in the program, which they can use to receive reduced price/discounts on food items and special incentives from area merchants. Red Ribbon Youth March began in 1991 as the “kick-off ” event for Red Ribbon Month. Students, parents, teachers and adult leaders participate in the march. Each group makes a banner with a statement about being drug-free and performs skits and cheers promoting a drug-free lifestyle. “Given the Opportunity” Youth Awards was established in 1993. The GTO Program awards grants (up to $200) to youth groups in two categories: (1) youth-designed and implemented community service projects and (2) youth-designed projects that address the promotion of seat belt usage, the prevention of drinking and driving or the prevention of tobacco usage. Grants are awarded by a panel of judges. The awards are presented at an awards luncheon in October. Operation Prom Night is an effort to educate prom-age students of the potential hazards of mixing intoxicating substances and Prom Night and to enforce laws regarding underage drinking and drug use on Prom Night. Child Safety Conference Sponsor – MCSAN is a co-sponsor of this annual conference focused on keeping children and teens safe. Responsible Vendor Training - MCSAN partners with the Morgan County District Attorney’s Office, the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board and Quest Recovery Center. The training is for frontline workers in businesses that sell alcohol and tobacco. The purpose of the training is to reduce sales to underage youth.


What’s the problem? Although recent trends in youth drug use have shown a downturn in usage levels, they remain at high levels.  It has been shown that the earlier drug use is initiated, the more likely a person is to develop drug problems later in life.   Youth substance abuse can lead to many other problems including the development of delinquent behavior, anti-social attitudes and health related issues.  These problems not only affect the child, but can also influence the child’s family, community and ultimately society.

Are Alcohol and Drugs a Problem in Our Community? The information below was compiled from a recent PRIDE Survey which is given to all 6th through 12th grade students in Decatur City, Hartselle City and Morgan County Schools.   Today’s youth face many problems, including substance misuse, abuse, and violence. Raising community awareness and educating parents is an important step in helping reduce and prevent youth’s alcohol & drug use and abuse. The agencies, organizations, and professionals in your community are working hard to create a safer and substance free environment for our youth. Youths’ drug and alcohol use contributes to various community problems including violent crime, property damage, traffic fatalities, and other health related issues. More importantly, youths’ illicit substance use can have a major impact on families and friends.  

Youths’ Drug and Alcohol Use in Our Community:

Most drug and alcohol use occurs outside the school environment. The most common place and time reported by students for alcohol and marijuana use was at a “Friend’s House” on the “Weekends.” Alcohol and Marijuana were the most commonly used drugs by 6th through 12th graders throughout Morgan County. By the time youth reach the 8th grade, approximately 37% have reported using alcohol within the past year. Approximately 56% of 12th grade students reported using alcohol within the past year. Approximately 30% of 12th graders reported having smoked marijuana within the past year. Youth that begin alcohol and drug use before the age of 15 are four times more likely to experience problems with dependency. The average age when alcohol and drug use begins for youth in Morgan County was below 15 years of age for 6th through 12th grade youth. Because some drugs are more toxic than others, it is important for the community to have knowledge of youths’ use of drugs other than alcohol and marijuana. Approximtely 17% of 8th graders and 33% of 12th graders reported using some type of illicit drug within the past year. Approximately 13% of 12th grade students reported using Oxycontin. More than 42% of high school students believe tobacco is easily accessible. About 40% of high school students believe alcohol is easily accessible. 53% of high school students in Morgan County reported having used tobacco, alcohol, or an illicit drug within the past year.


Parents, Do You Matter? If you could do one thing that would help your child succeed in school, live a healthier life, and develop to his fullest potential, would you do it?   If you answered “yes,” then talk with your child about alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.  As you read this guide, you may wonder how useful the information is to you and your child.  Find out what he knows.  Describe the harmful health effects of substance use and abuse.  Let him know how these substances can cause problems at school, in relationships and can tear families apart.    Youth drug use cuts across all ethnic, geographic and socioeconomic lines.  Youth experience pressure to use alcohol, tobacco and other drugs at increasingly early ages.  The National Survey on Drug Use and Health survey showed that adolescents ages 12 to 17 named drugs – along with social and academic pressures – as the most important problem they face.   Some parents aren’t aware of how common alcohol, tobacco and other drugs are in their child’s life.  By the time they enter preschool, most children have seen adults smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol either in real life, in the media, or both.  Children today are exposed to illegal drugs as early as elementary school, so it’s never too early to talk with your child about drugs.   As children approach adolescence, friends exert a lot of influence. Fitting in is a main priority for teens, and parents often feel shoved aside. Kids will listen, however. Study after study shows that even during the teen years, parents have enormous influence on their children’s behavior. Most youth who do not use alcohol, tobacco or other drugs credit their parents as a major factor in that decision. Youth who learn about the risks of drugs from their parents are up to 54 percent less likely to try drugs.   Parents have an incredible influence on their child’s decision whether or not to use drugs.  The following facts emphasize just how much your children need your support and guidance when it comes to making positive decisions about alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.   Source: Keeping Youth Drug Free – U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services/SAMHSA Talk to Your Children About Alcohol - U.S. Department of Health and Human Services



For young people, alcohol is the drug of choice. In fact, alcohol is used by more young people than tobacco or illicit drugs. Although most children under age 14 have not yet begun to drink, early adolescence is a time of special risk for beginning to experiment with alcohol. Early adolescence is a time of immense and often confusing changes for your son or daughter, which makes it a challenging time for both of you. Understanding what it’s like to be a teen can help you stay closer to your child and have more influence on the choices he or she makes—including decisions about using alcohol. Changes in the Brain - Research shows that as a child matures, his or her brain continues to develop. In fact, the brain’s final, adult wiring may not even be complete until well into the twenties. Furthermore, in some ways, the adolescent brain may be specifically “wired” to help youth navigate adolescence and to take some of the risks necessary to achieve independence from their parents. This may help explain why teens often seek out new and thrilling— sometimes dangerous—situations, including drinking alcohol. It also offers a possible reason for why young teens act so impulsively, often not recognizing that their actions—such as drinking—can lead to serious problems. While some parents and guardians may feel relieved that their teen is “only” drinking, it is important to remember that alcohol is a powerful, mood-altering drug. Not only does alcohol affect the mind and body in often unpredictable ways, but teens lack the judgment and coping skills to handle alcohol wisely. As a result: • • • • • • •

Alcohol-related traffic crashes are a major cause of death among young people. Alcohol use also is linked with teen deaths by drowning, suicide, and homicide. Teens who use alcohol are more likely to be sexually active at earlier ages, to have sexual intercourse more often, and to have unprotected sex more often than teens who do not drink. Young people who drink are more likely than others to be victims of violent crime, including rape, aggravated assault, and robbery. Teens who drink are more likely to have problems with school work and school conduct. The majority of boys and girls who drink tend to binge (5 or more drinks on an occasion for boys and 4 or more on an occasion for girls) when they drink. A person who begins drinking as a young teen is four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than someone who waits until adulthood to use alcohol. Alcohol affects young people differently than adults. Drinking while the brain is still maturing may lead to long-lasting intellectual effects and may even increase the likelihood of developing alcohol dependence later in life.

Source: Talk to Your Children About Alcohol – U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 72% of 12th graders in Morgan County report that alcohol is “fairly easy” or “very easy” to get.


tobacco Nicotine, the main drug in tobacco, is one of the most used addictive drugs in the United States.  In 2004, 29.2 percent of the U.S. population 12 and over – 70.3 million people – used tobacco at least once in the month prior to being interviewed.  Teens’ addiction to cigarettes can kick in within the first days of smoking.  Nicotine dependence can develop within four weeks of the first puff - even when teens are not smoking every day.  

Health Hazards •

• •

It’s highly addictive. Nicotine acts as both a stimulate and a sedative to the central nervous system. The ingestion of nicotine results in an almost immediate “kick” because it causes a discharge of epinephrine from the adrental cortex. This stimulates the central nervous system, and other endocrine glands, which causes a sudden release of glucose. Stimulation is then followed by depression and fatigue leading the abuser to smoke more nicotine. Smoking cigarettes and illegal drug use are closely related. Research shows that youth who smoke are fouteen times more likely to try marijuana and seventeen times more likely to drink heavily than nonsmoking youth. Nicotine accumulates in the body. Nicotine is absorbed readily from tobacco smoke in the lungs, regardless of whether the tobacco smoke is from cigarettes, cigars or pipes. Nicotine is also absorbed readily when tobacco is chewed. With regular use of tobacco, levels of nicotine accumulate in the body during the day and throughout the night thus exposing daily smokers to the effects of nicotine 24 hours a day. There are long-term hazards. In addition to nicotine, cigarette smoke is primarily composed of a dozen gases (mainly carbon monoxide) and tar. The tar in a cigarette, which varies from about 15 mg for a regular cigarette to 7 mg in a low-tar cigarette, exposes the user to a high expectancy rate of lung cancer, emphysema and bronchial disorders. The carbon monoxide in the smoke increases the chance of cardiovascular diseases. Second-hand smoke can cause illness. The Environmental Protection Agency has concluded that secondhand smoke causes lung cancer in adults and greatly increases the risk of respiratory illnesses in children and sudden infant death syndrome.

Source: Parents. The Anti-Drug. 70% of 12th graders in Morgan County report that tobacco is “fairly easy” or “very easy” to get.

Marijuana Marijuana puts kids at risk. It is the most widely used illicit drug among youth today. Marijuana use can lead to a host of significant health, social, learning and behavioral problems at a crucial time in a young person’s development. Despite reported declines in teen marijuana use, national statistics show that in 2007 almost 11 million teens report having used marijuana. In 2007, approximately 204,000 high-school seniors used marijuana on a daily basis. These are alarming concerns for parents and teens, according to Non-Medical Marijuana III: Rite of Passage or Russian Roulette?, a report by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA).


Marijuana continued Over recent years statistics show a: • 175 percent jump in the potency of marijuana concentration • 492 percent increase in the proportion of teen treatment admissions with a medical diagnosis for marijuana abuse or dependence, compared with a 54 percent decline for all other substances of abuse • 188 percent increase in the proportion of teen treatment admissions for marijuana as the primary drug of abuse, compared with a 54 percent decline for all other substances of abuse • 136 percent increase in the proportion of emergency department findings of marijuana as a major substance of abuse among teens, more than five times the increase in such findings for all other substances of abuse. CASA also reports that teens who use drugs are five times more likely to have sex than are those teens who do not use drugs. CASA also states that teens who use marijuana are four times more likely to have been pregnant or to have gotten someone pregnant than teens who have never smoked pot. Kids can get hooked on pot. Research shows that marijuana use can lead to addiction. Each year, more kids enter treatment with a primary diagnosis of marijuana dependence than for all other illicit drugs combined. Youth, ages 12 to 17, who use marijuana weekly are six times more likely to run away from home, five times more likely to steal, and nearly four times more likely to engage in violence.

MARIJUANA AND MENTAL HEALTH The main active chemical in marijuana is THC. Short-term effects of marijuana use include problems with memory and learning; distorted perception; difficulty in thinking and problem-solving; loss of coordination; increased heart rate; and anxiety and panic attacks. Today’s teens are smoking a more potent form of marijuana and starting use at increasingly younger ages during crucial brain development years. There is plenty of evidence indicating the ways pot impedes, even changes, the mental health of adolescents. In fact, those changes in the brain are similar to those caused by cocaine, heroin and alcohol. The overall impact that pot has on the brain can have long term consequences.

The most widely used illicit drug among youth is marijuana. 9

Marijuana and mental health continued Depression – Weekly marijuana use increases the risk of depression later in life. Research shows people who were not depressed and used marijuana at the beginning of one study were four times more likely to suffer from depression at follow up. Those who were depressed, but did not use marijuana at the beginning of the study, were no more likely to use it at follow up. This figure is higher for teen girls. Female marijuana users, with no predisposition for depression or anxiety, are five times more likely to be depressed at age 21 than non-users. Suicidal Thoughts – Marijuana can also be linked to suicidal thoughts. A study based on data from the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse found that teenagers 12 to 17 who smoke marijuana weekly are three times more likely to have thoughts of committing suicide. The same study linked increased anxiety and panic attacks to past year marijuana use. Schizophrenia – Several studies have documented marijuana’s link with symptoms of schizophrenia and report that cannabis is an independent risk factor for schizophrenia. Heavy users of marijuana at age 18 increased their risk of schizophrenia later in life by six times. Further reports have found marijuana use increased the risk of developing schizophrenia among people with no prior history of a disorder, and that early use of marijuana (age 15 v. age 18) increased the risk even more. In addition, youth with a personal or family history of schizophrenia are at an even greater risk of marijuana-induced psychosis. Source: Parents. The Anti-Drug. 61% of 12th graders in Morgan County report that marijuana is “fairly easy” or “very easy” to get.

inhalants Inhalants are common products found right in the home and are among the most popular and deadly substances kids abuse. Inhalant abuse can result in death from the very first use. About one in five kids report having used inhalants by the eighth grade. Teens use inhalants by sniffing or “snorting” fumes from containers; spraying aerosols directly into the mouth or nose; bagging, by inhaling a substance inside a paper or plastic bag; huffing from an inhalant-soaked rag; or inhaling from balloons filled with nitrous oxide. Inhalants are breathable chemical vapors that can produce mind-alternating effects. Although people are exposed to volatile solvents and other inhalants in the home and in the workplace, many do not think of these substances as drugs because most of them were never meant to be used in that way. Most young people don’t realize how dangerous inhalants can be. Inhalants are likely to be abused, in part, because they are readily available and inexpensive. Parents should see that these substances are monitored closely so that children do not abuse them.


INHALANTS continued Health Hazards Short Term Effects: Nearly all abused inhalants produce effects similar to anesthetics, which act to slow down the body’s functions. Inhalants can cause intoxicating effects that can last only a few minutes or several hours if inhalants are used repeatedly. Irreversible Hazards: Inhalants are toxic. Chronic exposure can lead to brain damage or nerve damage similar to multiple sclerosis; damage to the heart, lungs, liver and kidneys; and prolonged abuse can affect thinking, movement, vision and hearing. Sniffing highly concentrated amounts of the chemicals in solvents or aerosol sprays can directly induce heart failure and death. Other irreversible effects caused by inhaling specific solvents are: • Hearing loss – spray paint, glues, dewaxers, cleaning fluids, correction fluids • Limb spasms – glues, gasoline, whipping cream, gas cylinders • Central nervous system or brain damage – spray paint, glues, dewaxers • Bone marrow damage – gasoline • Liver and kidney damage – correction fluids, dry-cleaning chemicals • Blood oxygen depletion – varnish removers, paint thinners Source: Parents. The Anti-Drug.

Prescription Drug Abuse The Intentional High There is a disturbing trend parents need to know about. Teens are abusing prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs in an effort to get high – the same kind of high obtained from illegal street drugs like marijuana or cocaine. There is a misconception that prescription and OTC drugs are safer, and therefore the abuse of such drugs in order to get high is not as bad as abusing street drugs. Taking prescription medication without a doctor’s approval and supervision can be a dangerous - even deadly – decision. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), almost half (48%) of all emergency room visits resulting from overdoses from an ingredient found in many cough syrups, dextromethorphan (DXM), were patients 12 – 20 years old. In addition, some teens get together and party with prescription and OTC drugs. “Pharming,” as this alarming behavior is often referred to, describes grabbing a handful of prescription drugs and swallowing some or all of them, often with alcohol. Some of these young people are taking pills from the family medicine cabinet or ordering them online from illegal pharmacies and giving them to their friends at school. What they don’t realize is that ingesting a mix of known or unknown drugs, especially in high dosages, is always dangerous and sometimes fatal.


Prescription Drug Abuse continued A recent PRIDE surveys showed 309 middle-school youth and 729 high-school youth in Morgan County reported misusing prescription drugs one or more times in their lifetime.

The 411 on Rx Drugs – Why Should Parents Care? Reason 1: There are now more new users (12 and older) of prescription drugs than any other illegal drug. Teens are turning away from street drugs and the stigma that goes along with using them, and abusing prescription drugs to get the same type of high. Many young people are under the false notion that prescription and OTC (Over The Counter) drugs are medically safer, when in fact they can be just as dangerous and addictive as street drugs, if taken improperly. Reason 2: Abuse of Prescription Drugs Is Dangerous, Even Fatal. Abusing prescription-type drugs like painkillers, tranquilizers, and sedatives with the intent to get “buzzed” or “high,” can be dangerous, even fatal. When a child fakes symptoms to get a prescription, pops somebody else’s pills, mixes medications or alcohol, and/or takes more than the recommended dosage, it can induce serious health problems such as addiction, seizures, and cardiac arrest. Reason 3: Accessibility and Knowledge Gathering Prescription drugs are easy to get and often free to teens. All they have to do is walk out of their bedroom, down the hall into the bathroom, and look in the medicine cabinet; or for OTC, go to the nearest supermarket. They can also get prescription drugs from friends at school, who have brought them from home or stolen them from a family friend or relative. The internet is also an access point for teens to get prescription or OTC drugs. There are many illegal web sites that don’t require a prescription or a medical evaluation. The internet allows teens the ability to create networks of “friends” who can secretly share information and encourage prescription and OTC drug abuse. To make matters worse, numerous internet sites exist for the sole purpose of providing information about how people can get high off of a particular prescription drug or OTC medicine, such as giving dosages based on height and weight. Reason 4: Getting Prescription Drugs Without a Prescription is Illegal In addition, using the Internet to get drugs without a valid prescription is illegal – and may subject a person to arrest and prosecution. Regardless of how you acquire a prescription medication, using these types of drugs without a valid prescription and medical supervision is unsafe. These drugs are intended only for the person they are prescribed for and only to treat the condition for which they are prescribed.

Some teens are abusing prescription and over the counter drugs. 12

Prescription Drug Abuse continued Reason 5: It Doesn’t Help Your Teen Reach His Full Potential Why do some teens abuse prescription and OTC drugs? There are many reasons, but teens often point to boredom, they want to escape, or simply to get high. As a parent, you are the most influential person in your teen’s life. If they see you taking prescription or OTC drugs to deal with life’s stresses or to change your physical appearance and not for a medical condition, they are likely to imitate that behavior. Talk to your teen about healthy ways to cope with the pressures of the world, like getting involved in music or sports. If you feel strongly that your child does have a significant health problem that could require medication, talk to your family doctor. Source: Parents. The Anti-Drug.

Where Do Teens Get Rx Drugs? Your Home. A teen will often scout his own home first if he’s looking for a quick high from prescription or OTC drugs. Think carefully about the pills that are in your family’s medicine cabinet. Do you have cough syrups? Vicodin for that bad back? Xanax for those panic attacks? Computers, cell phones, and personal digital assistants can help teens gain access to the internet, where they can order prescription drugs WITHOUT a prescription from rogue pharmacy sites or message with “friends” about obtaining drugs. The Medicine Cabinet. Take inventory of the places in your home where you keep medicines, both prescription and OTC drugs. Ideally, you should keep these drugs in one location that you can monitor easily, where your teen cannot access them at all. If you choose to leave them more open, be sure to note the pill amounts in each bottle or pill packet, just as you would monitor the level of alcohol in the house, as well as the number of refills. If you notice pills are dwindling faster than they should, be on alert, and talk with your teen. If you have unneeded or expired medications, properly dispose of them by putting them in a bag or container, and mixing them with something unappealing, like kitty litter or coffee grounds. Then throw the bag in the trash. For environmental reasons, never flush any medications down the toilet or drain, unless the prescription bottle specifically says you can. The Internet. Some teens turn to sources outside of the home to buy Rx drugs. They can surf the internet for illegal pharmacies that are NOT legitimate, and often send prescribed drugs without a doctor’s prescription. Teens can easily access these web sites using their computer, cell phone, or a personal digital assistant. Teens can access web sites that give step-by-step instructions on how much of a medicine they can take in order to get a “high” feeling. Social networking sites allow teens the ability to share information, which can also facilitate risky behaviors. Be vigilant and monitor devices that give your teen access to the internet. Check web site histories and cookies, as well as cell phone call histories. Contact the manufacturer of the device for help on how to do this, if you don’t already know. It’s also helpful to limit your teen’s time on these gadgets and keep them in family common areas. Your Teen’s Personal Effects. There is a fine line between respecting your teen’s privacy and making sure they are not engaging in risky behaviors, like prescription and OTC drug abuse. If you suspect your teen is engaging in this type of abuse, there are specific things that will be red flags. If you find your teen is going through a lot of cough syrup, be on alert. When monitoring your own medications, if you notice anything missing, this is a


Prescription Drug Abuse continued tell-tale sign. Of course, empty prescription bottles or empty pill cartridges among your teen’s personal effects are also tell-tale signs. Talk with your child immediately. Impress upon him the risks associated with prescription and OTC drug abuse and establish firm rules and consequences. If you’ve already established rules about drug abuse, enforce the consequences. A Friend or Relative’s Home. Whether it’s your friend or your child’s friend, talk with the parents of the household about monitoring medications in their home, especially if your child is a frequent guest. Discuss what you do in your own home, and encourage them to take similar safety precautions. If other parents hear you talk about the new risks of prescription drugs and how you monitor the use of these drugs in your home, they’ll understand. Ask other parents to notify you immediately if they suspect anything unusual. School. Teens often get prescription and/or OTC drugs from friends at school. Most school administrators and teachers are aware of the problem, but to be sure to talk directly with your child’s teachers and any other school officials who come in contact with your teen throughout the day, such as a counselor or coach. Request that they notify you immediately if they notice anything unusual or suspect your teen is abusing medications. Grocery or Drug Store. Stores in several states are now required to place pseudoephedrine (i.e., Sudafed) behind-the-counter as a result of the Combat Methamphetamine Act. Other stores, although not required by state law, are proactively putting certain OTC drugs behind-the-counter. In fact, to help curb cough syrup abuse, many stores and retail chains have even begun placing products containing DXM behind-the-counter, as well. Grocery and drug stores also limit the number of bottles and/or tablets that can be purchased, but teens often get around this by store-hopping. If you have reason to suspect your teen is abusing OTC drugs, be on the lookout for grocery receipts, empty bottles of cough syrup or pill packets among personal effects, and be aware if they tend to hit the grocery store before heading out with friends. Source: Parents. The Anti-Drug.

Seek Help for Your Child if needed.


WHAT SHOULD I BE LOOKING FOR? Nothing is more destructive to a teen and/or their family than the use of drugs. Many parents find it difficult to spot signs of drug use, especially since many of the signs and symptoms listed below are common in perfectly normal adolescents. While there is no single warning sign for drug or alcohol use, some indicators of a potential problem include:

• • • • • • • • • • • • •

Any dramatic, negative change of some duration Increased irritability and moodiness Isolation, depression, fatigue Defiance or aggressive, rebellious behavior Hostility and uncooperative attitude Low or falling grades; lack of interest in school Gravitating away from friends you have known to friends who are less motivated Always wanting to spend the night away from home, without willingness to reciprocate Pattern of deception; not being where they say they are Having elaborate explanations for discrepancies in their stories Being away from home a lot more than usual at different times of the day or night Refusal to follow family rules or to handle responsibilities assigned by family Increased secrecy, sullenness, and avoidance of the family

Remember, you are watching for patterns of behavior, not a single episode or event. Trust your instincts and don’t be afraid to seek help if you have concerns. It is better to investigate concerns than to let situations worsen because you “weren’t sure.” Let your child know that you have a responsibility to keep an eye on them due to your knowledge of the risks. Some of the warning signs listed above could also point to broader health problems, such as an emotional issue, physical or mental illness. Research suggests that as many as half of all kids involved with drugs or alcohol are affected by mental health problems. Before you choose a course of action, discuss your observations with your child’s doctor. Source: Sooner or Later You’re Going To Need This - A Parent’s Handbook on Teenage Alcohol & Drug Use Mountain Brook Anti-Drug Coalition

Your child’s most powerful resource is YOU, the parent!


speak up! The Power of Parental Influence Your child’s most powerful resource is YOU, his or her parent. Most of us would willingly agree with this statement when we are supporting our child in a positive activity (watching her soccer game, cheering for his football team, applauding at the play). However, we tend to forget our powerful, positive impact when we are limiting our children’s activities by drawing boundaries and disciplining them. We easily imagine our children hate us – sometimes they even tell us directly that they do! At these challenging moments, when we need to assert ourselves as parents, we may wonder why we are bothering to attempt the stressful task of disciplining our teenage sons or daughters. How should we inspire and prepare ourselves for the tougher part of parenting: The ongoing anti-drug conversation, making rules and following through. First and foremost: BE THE PARENT. It is most helpful if we call on our sense of perspective. When we pull back and look at the big picture, it becomes clear that in order to raise children who are drug-free and healthy, we must develop communication, establish rules, and monitor the adherence to our rules. Our children might have feelings about our viewpoints, or disagree with our perspectives, but we know that we are doing our job as best we can. Keeping our kids healthy is one of our primary jobs as parents. Being a parent who is willing to set limits on their children’s behavior is just as important as being a parent who is willing to be a booster to their children’s activities. In fact, the most successful parenting combines both saying “yes!” with the firmness of limiting and saying “no!” Avoid these three pitfalls common to parents: 1. Desire to identify. We often identify too closely with our children. We want our teens to be happy and popular. We are tempted to change our rules in order to bolster our children’s social success.


SPEAK UP! continued 2. Fear that restricting our children will cause us to lose them. We worry that if we limit our children, they won’t remember the good we have also given them. It is our job to remember that every child wants his or her parents to care deeply about them. Caring requires more than just friendship, it includes mentorship – overseeing the child, helping him develop as a person of value, being willing to wrestle and work through difficult time together. 3. Tendency to indulge. Sometimes we capture the attention and loyalty of our children with material possessions. When a parent is able to set reachable expectations, and the child meets them, real loyalty and real connection between parent and child occurs. It is important that parents practice the deeper ways of connecting, rather than falling back on giving the child a present. It is crucially important to talk to our children about drug use. There are a number of simple tips we can act on to enable us to engage our children in these discussions: 1. Establish and be clear about rules. Make rules that address specific drug use. Ensure that your child understands that there are rules – even if the rules run counter to popular culture. 2. Enforce limits. If rules are not enforced, parents grant unspoken permission. Monitoring enables our children to grow up without experimenting. 3. Be prepared for their reaction. Though we work up the nerve to engage our children in difficult discussions, we may be unprepared for their reaction. When we present our children with rules, it is likely that they will not express gratitude for our attention and efforts. Even so, we must do our job as parents. 4. Stand your ground. It is only natural for children to pull away when rules are enforced. In these instances, it’s critical to hold your position. Standing calm and firm encourages the development of basic life skills. We all need to learn to follow rules, act with respect, develop integrity and speak proactively. The best kind of parental discipline teaches these skills. 5. Hold your children accountable for rules and agreements. Once rules are established, hold children accountable for rules and agreements. If your son or daughter breaks a rule, don’t let your child off the hook in the spirit of maintaining a relationship. Children feel more secure in a relationship when they are held accountable. We all want to enable our children to live up to their potential and lead strong, healthy lives. Healthy parenting leads to healthy individuals! Sources: Parents. The Anti-Drug. / Parenting expert, Alison Birnbaum, LCSW 35% of students (6th - 12th grades) in Morgan County indicated that their parents “never” or “seldom” talk to them about the problems of tobacco, alcohol and drug use.


risk & protective factors for alcohol & drug use risk Factors Some adolescents have factors in their lives, which may put them at greater risk. Don’t neglect to consider these:

• • • • • • • • • • • •

Family history of substance abuse dependence or addiction Little supervision and too much freedom Availability of excess money, with little parental monitoring Desire to please or “fit in” above all else Easy access to alcohol or medications at your home or relatives’ homes Associating with an older crowd Depression Chronic social isolation Chronic low self esteem Chronic academic struggles Unreasonable expectations from the family, socially or academically Lack of support or guidance

Source: Sooner or Later You’re Going To Need This - A Parent’s Handbook on Teenage Alcohol & Drug Use Mountain Brook Anti-Drug Coalition, Mountain Brook Anti-Drug Coalition Protective Factors Protective factors are life events or experiences that reduce the effect of exposure to risk factors.

• • • • • • • • • • •

Emotional stability Positive self esteem Problem solving skills Emotional support and absence of severe criticism High parental expectations Clear rules and expectations Parental monitoring Caring and supportive school environment Youth participation, involvement and responsibility in school tasks and decisions Involvement with positive peer group activities and norms Caring and supportive community

Source: AADAC - Youth Risk and Protective Factors


IT’S THE LAW! Code of Alabama Title 32-5A-191 - Zero Tolerance for Youth A person under the age of 21 who has .02 percent, or more by weight of alcohol in the blood, will have his/her driver’s license suspended for 30 days. The youth will be referred to a court referral officer for evaluation and required to complete a DUI or substance abuse court referral program. Title 13A-11-10.1 - Open House Parties No adult having control of any residence and who is in attendance shall allow a social gathering at a residence when alcoholic beverages or controlled substances are illegally possessed or illegally consumed at the residence by a person under the age of 21. Class B misdemeanor. “Fake” Driver’s License Charges can be brought against a minor attempting to purchase a fraudulent driver’s license and/or against the maker/holder of such license. Such charges vary with the circumstances. 28-3A-25(a)(19) - Possession of Alcohol It is against the law for a person under the age of 21 to possess alcohol. 28-3A-25 (a)(19) - Minor Attempting To Purchase Alcohol It is against the law for a person under the age of 21 to try to purchase alcohol. 28-11-13 - Possession of/or Use of Tobacco It is against the law for a person less than 19 years of age to possess or use tobacco.

What’s your liability? There are important facts you need to know about YOUR CHILD’S LIABILITY AS WELL AS YOUR OWN LIABILITY, relative to drug and alcohol use. • You can be sued for money damages if you let your child have your car knowing he had a bad driving record and injury results to a third party. • You can be sued for money damages if you are aware of a minor drinking in your

Don’t provide alcohol to minors. 19

WHAT IS YOUR LIABILITY? continued “residence*” without taking the required actions and injury results. • You can be prosecuted criminally if you are aware of a minor drinking at your residence and you do not take the required action even if no injury results. • Your teenager can lose his driver’s license and be prosecuted criminally for drinking and driving for only a .02% blood alcohol content. (Alabama Code Section 32-5A-191) Source: Sooner or Later You’re Going To Need This - A Parent’s Handbook on Teenage Alcohol & Drug Use *Residence is defined by law to include more than your home (lake house, beach house, hotel room, apartment party room, country club, etc).

Parties In preparing for a party, remember that alcohol and other drugs should NEVER be allowed at a teenage party and parents should NEVER allow teenage parties or gatherings in their home when they are not there.

Party Guidelines • Be aware that “pre-parties” at homes when parents are not there or at homes where parents look the other way is where much alcohol and other drug use takes place. Be cause certain big events are known by teenagers to be heavily chaperoned, the trend is now to drink heavily in advance of the party and arrive under the influence. Have a plan to contact these parents and/or the police. • Discourage “open” parties - those to which anyone can come. • Set a definite time for the beginning and the end of the party. • Call other parents for assistance with chaperoning, particularly at larger parties. Be certain they know the host’s rules and are willing to enforce the rules when necessary. Set party rules ahead of time. Parent and child can determine these together and explain to the guests when they arrive. Some rules you might consider: • No alcohol or other drugs. This should be clearly stated before the party begins. • No smoking. • No leaving the party and then returning. • No uninvited guests. • No turning out the lights. • No going to parts of the house that are “off limits.” Explain what is off limits. • No sitting in cars. Tips to keep the party safe. • Lock liquor and medicine cabinets or remove harmful substances during parties. • Have plenty of refreshments. • Be a visible host. Take opportunities such as serving and replenishing refreshments to make your presence known. Teenagers often report they drink and use other .drugs at friends’ homes and parties. Don’t assume it can’t happen at your house.


PARTIES continued • Don’t allow uninvited guests. This can cause problems. Decide ahead of time what should be done if uninvited guests arrive. Call the police. Tell your teen in advance that you won’t let these people in. • Tell guests who leave the party that they will not be allowed to return. Some teenagers will come into a party and then go outside or to the car to drink. Consider calling parents of guests who leave early to be sure they arrive home safely. • Be aware that having a party outdoors makes it harder to chaperone and harder to prevent guests from coming and going. Try limiting the number of entrances to the party if the party is held outside. Check the surrounding area before the party - some young people will stash coolers outside beforehand. • Inform neighbors in advance when you are hosting a larger party. Ask them to notify you if ANY problems arise. • Hire an off-duty policeman to control traffic and parking and to watch for consumption of alcohol or other drugs at larger parties. NOTE: Security guards do not have the authority that a policeman does to deal with an alcohol/drug situation. • Call the parents of anyone possessing alcohol or other drugs, or who appear under the influence of either. Call the Decatur Police Department (353-2515), Morgan County Sheriff ’s Department (351-4800) or Hartselle Police Department (773-6534) if necessary. Don’t enable teenagers to use without consequences. Never protect them from their own behavior. Source: Sooner or Later You’re Going To Need This - A Parent’s Handbook on Teenage Alcohol & Drug Use

Preventing Parties When You Are Out Of Town • Beware that leaving a teenager at home alone when you are out of town is asking for trouble. One of the most common places for our teenagers to use alcohol or other drugs is at a friend’s house or party. One good solution may be for the teen to stay with a friend whose parent is willing to take on the responsibility. Be sure to talk to the parent. Also be aware that an older sibling or college-age student may be a lax chaperone for a teenager. Many parties occur under “supervision” of chaperones not much older than the teenagers. • Let a relative, friend, or close neighbor know you will be gone. Give them your location, dates and telephone numbers. Ask them to watch for parties or gatherings and to let you know if one should take place. Give them the authority to break up a party, send guests home, and call the police if necessary. Be specific so they will be certain what you want them to do. Tell the neighbors to call the police if there are cars in front of your house. Tell your children that you have made these arrangements. Source: Sooner or Later You’re Going To Need This - A Parent’s Handbook on Teenage Alcohol & Drug Use

Morgan County Decatur Hartselle Sheriff’s Department Police Department Police Department (256) 351-4800 (256) 353-2515 (256)teens 773-6534 • Parents should remember to be AWAKE AND ALERT when their come home, no matter what the curfew. Set the alarm if you need to, but be awake and speak to


THOUGHTS TO CONSIDER • Parents should remember to be AWAKE AND ALERT when their teens come home, no matter what the curfew. Set the alarm if you need to, but be awake and apeak to them face-to-face before they go off to bed. And don’t neglect to have spend-the-night company say good night too. A teenager’s calling, “I’m home, Mom,” from down the hall is not enough. • Impress upon your teen that if he is running later or involved in an emergency, CALL HOME. It’s also thoughtful for parents to do the same. Make sure your teen knows where you are and how to reach you. • On school nights, it is suggested that young people be home in the early evening hours with reasonable exceptions for school meetings or sporting events. Curfews do not always have to be a set time for a set night. Consider making the curfew fits the activity - not the day of the week. • Make sure your teen knows he can ALWAYS call home if he needs a ride. • Be sure you know what your children’s plans are and they know to call if their plans change. Source: Sooner or Later You’re Going To Need This - A Parent’s Handbook on Teenage Alcohol & Drug Use

What to Do If Your Teen Comes Home Under The Influence? That Night: Do - Try to remain cool and calm. Do - Verbally attempt to find out what substance they have ingested and under what circumstances. Do - If your teen is incoherent and/or ill, call a doctor or take them to the emergency room. Do - Tell them you will talk about this tomorrow. Do - Send them to bed and check on them frequently during the night. Don’t - Shout at or accuse your child. All this is quite useless when they are in this condition. The Next Day: Do - Have them assume responsibility for their actions - including clean-up. Do - Have a talk with your teen immediately. Do - Try to find out circumstances under which they came to use drugs/alcohol including the people he/she was with. Do - Let your child know you do not condone this behavior and you will be watching him/her closely in the future. Do - Establish guidelines for behavior with your son/daughter as well as curfews for going out with friends. Expect compliance. Do - Consider with your child alternative activities to avoid repeat exposure to drugs/alcohol. Don’t - Have your discussion with your teen if you are too angry to talk about it without losing your temper. Wait until you can discuss it calmly.


decatur city schools Directory Austin High School 1625 Danville Road, SW Decatur, AL 35601 Phone: (256) 552-3060 FAX: (256) 308-2314

Benjamin Davis Elementary School 16 Monroe Drive, NW Decatur, AL 35601 Phone: (256) 552-3025 FAX: 552-4689

Decatur High School 1011 Prospect Drive, SE Decatur, AL 35601 Phone: (256) 552-3011 FAX: (256) 308-2535

Chestnut Grove Elementary School 3205 Cedarhurst Street, SW Decatur, AL 35603 Phone: (256) 552-3092 FAX: (256) 552-4646

Decatur High Developmental 1011 Prospect Drive, SE Decatur, AL 35601 Phone: (256) 552-3008 FAX: (256) 584-8196

Eastwood Elementary School 1802 Twenty-Sixth Avenue, SE Decatur, AL 35601 Phone: (256) 552-3043 FAX: (256) 552-4696

Horizon High School 809 Church Street, SE Decatur, AL 35601 Phone: (256) 552-3054 FAX: (256) 552-4691

Frances Nungester Elementary School 726 Tammy Street, SW Decatur, AL 35603 Phone: (256) 552-3079 FAX: (256) 552-4658

Center for Alternatives to Suspension 406 Second Avenue, SE Decatur, AL 35601 Phone: (256) 552-4292 FAX: (256) 552-3064

Julian Harris Elementary School 1922 McAuliffe Drive, SW Decatur, AL 35603 Phone: (256) 552-3096 FAX: (256) 552-4659

Center for Alternatives to Expulsion 910 Wilson Street, NE Decatur, AL 35601 Phone: (256) 308-2308 FAX: (256) 308-2310

Leon Sheffield Elementary School 801 Wilson Street, NW Decatur, AL 35601 Phone: (256) 552-3056 FAX: (256) 552-4690 Somerville Road Elementary School 910 Somerville Road, SE Decatur, AL 35601 Phone: (256) 552-3033 FAX: (256) 552-4692

Brookhaven Middle School 1302 Fifth Avenue, SW Decatur, AL 35601 Phone: (256) 552-3045 FAX: (256) 552-3047

Walter Jackson Elementary School 1950 Park Street, SE Decatur, AL 35601 Phone: (256) 552-3031 FAX: (256) 552-4693

Cedar Ridge Middle School 2715 Danville Road, SW Decatur, AL 35603 Phone: (256) 552-4622 FAX: (256) 552-4623

West Decatur Elementary School 708 Memorial Drive, SW Decatur, AL 35601 Phone: (256) 552-3027 FAX: (256) 552-4694

Oak Park Middle School 1218 Sixteenth Avenue, SE Decatur, AL 35601 Phone: (256) 552-3035 FAX: (256) 552-3082

Woodmeade Elementary School 1400 Nineteenth Avenue, SW Decatur, AL 35601 Phone: 256) 552-3023 FAX: (256) 552-4695

Austinville Elementary School 2320 Clara Avenue, SW Decatur, AL 35601 Phone: (256) 552-3050 FAX: (256) 552-4688 Banks/Caddell Elementary School 211 Gordon Drive, SE Decatur, AL 35601 Phone: (256) 552-3040 FAX: (256) 552-4653

Superintendent’s Office 302 Fourth Avenue, NE Decatur, AL 35601 Phone: (256) 552-3000


hartselle city schools Directory

Barkley Bridge Elementary (K - 5) 2333 Barkley Bridge Road, Southwest Hartselle, Alabama 35640 Phone: (256) 773-1931 F.E. Burleson Elementary (K - 5) 1100 Bethel Road, Northeast Hartselle, Alabama 325640 Phone: (256) 773-2411 Crestline Elementary (K - 5) 600 Crestline Drive, Southwest Hartselle, Alabama 35640 Phone: (256) 773-9967 Hartselle Junior High School (6 - 8) 130 Petain Street, Southwest Hartselle, Alabama 35640 Phone: (256) 773-6094 Hartselle High School (9 - 12) 904 South Sparkman Street Hartselle, Alabama 35640 Phone: (256) 773-5426 Superintendent’s Office 305 College Street, Northeast Hartselle, Alabama 35640 Phone: (256) 773-5419


morgan county schools Directory Brewer High School (9 - 12) 59 Eva Road Somerville, Alabama 35670 Phone: (256) 778-8634 FAX: (256) 778-8012

Priceville Elementary School (K - 5) 438 Cave Springs Road Decatur, Alabama 35603 Phone: (256) 341-9202 FAX: (256) 341-0776 Priceville Junior High School (6 – 8) 317 Highway 67 South Decatur, Alabama 35603 Phone: (256) 355-5104 FAX: (256) 355-5932

Cotaco School (K - 8) 100 Cotaco School Road Somerville, Alabama 35670 Phone: (256) 778-8153 FAX: (256) 778-8148

Priceville High School (9 – 12) 317 Highway 67 South Decatur, Alabama 35603 Phone: 353-1950 FAX: 353-2802

Danville-Neel Elementary (K-4) 8688 Danville Road Danville, Alabama 35619 Phone: (256) 773-7182 FAX: (256) 773-7718

Ryan School (K - 8) 11001 Highway 67 South Joppa, Alabama 35087 Phone: (256) 586-3785 FAX: (256) 586-1311

Danville Middle School (5 - 8) 5933 Highway 36 West Danville, Alabama 35619 Phone: (256) 773-7723 FAX: (256) 773-7708

Sparkman School (K - 8) 72 Plainview Hartselle, Alabama 35640 Phone: (256) 773-2259 FAX: (256) 751-1256

Danville High School (9 - 12) 9235 Danville Road Danville, Alabama 35619 Phone: (256) 773-9909 FAX: (256) 773-5622

Union Hill School (K - 8) 2221 Union Hill Road Somerville, Alabama 35670 Phone: (256) 498-2431 FAX: (256) 498-3524

Eva School (K - 8) 20 School Road Eva, Alabama 35621 Phone: (256) 796-5141 FAX: (256) 796-7108

West Morgan Elementary (K - 4) 261 South Greenway Drive Trinity, Alabama 35673 Phone: (256) 350-5955 FAX: (256) 350-5756

Falkville Elementary (K - 6) 43 Clark Drive Falkville, Alabama 35622 Phone: (256) 784-5249 FAX: (256) 784-9070

West Morgan Junior High (5 – 8) 261 South Greenway Drive Trinity, Alabama 35673 Phone: 350-9841 FAX: 355-8713

Falkville High School (7 - 12) 43 Clark Drive Falkville, Alabama 35622 Phone: (256) 784-5248 FAX: (256) 784-9438

West Morgan High School (9 – 12) 261 South Greenway Drive Trinity, Alabama 35673 Phone: 353-5214 FAX: 355-8713

Lacey’s Spring School (K - 8) 48 School Road Lacey’s Spring, Alabama 35754 Phone: (256) 881-4460 FAX: (256) 881-1748

Superintendent’s Office 1325 Point Mallard Parkway, Southeast Decatur, Alabama 35601 Phone: (256) 353-6442

Morgan County Learning Center 1325 Point Mallard Parkway, Southeast Decatur, Alabama 35601 Phone: (256) 309-2171 FAX: (256) 309-2158


what a parent should do... If you suspect alcohol or drug use by your teenager If your child is using drugs, it is important to avoid blaming yourself for the problem and to get whatever help is needed to stop it. The earlier a drug problem is detected and faced, the more likely it is that your child can be helped. First, do not confront a child who is under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. Wait until the child is sober. Then discuss your suspicions with your child calmly and objectively. Bring in other family members to help if necessary. Second, impose whatever discipline your family has decided on for violating the rules and stick to it. Don’t relent if your child promises to never do it again. Many young people lie about their alcohol and drug use. If you think your child is not being truthful and the evidence is pretty strong, you may wish to have your child evaluated by a health professional experienced in diagnosing adolescents with alcohol- and drug-related problems. If your child has developed a pattern of drug use or has engaged in heavy use, you may need help to intervene. If you do not know about drug treatment programs in your area, the resources listed on the following pages may provide information and help.


Local resources Morgan County Substance Abuse Network (MCSAN) Located at the Mental Health Association in Morgan County 207 Commerce Circle, Southwest Decatur, Alabama 35601 Phone: 256-353-1160 Fax: 256-353-1163

Mental Health Center of North Central Alabama Phone: 256-355-6091 Access Unit: 256-355-5904 The Mental health Center of North Central Alabama provides comprehensive mental health services for persons who are affected by mental illnesses, emotional diseases, as well as drug and alcohol abuse in Lawrence, Limestone, and Morgan counties.

Decatur General West Behavioral Medicine Center Phone: 256-306-4000 Decatur General West Hospital addresses each adolescent as an individual with an individual and specific plan of care. Included in this plan of care is a drug and alcohol education class that meets once each week. For those individuals who are in need of a more intensive focus on drug and alcohol issues, a process group meets once per week in addition to the education class. Finally, for individuals who are in need of intense inpatient treatment focused solely on drug and alcohol issues, referrals are made to A and D treatment facilities.

Quest Recovery Center Phone: 256-353-9116 Access Unit: 256-355-5904 Quest Recovery Center provides comprehensive adult and adolescent outpatient substance abuse treatment and prevention services to persons living/working in Lawrence, Limestone, and Morgan counties.  A professional staff of counselors, case managers and prevention specialists with extensive experience in the treatment and prevention of substance abuse is available to serve the community.  The goal of Quest Recovery Center treatment programs is to help substance abusers and their families establish a satisfying life without alcohol and other drugs.  Quest Recovery Center prevention programs work to assist our community with eliminating or reducing alcohol, tobacco, other drug use and related problems.   

Morgan County System of Services Phone: 256-350-8434 Fax: 256-350-8535 The mission of Morgan County System of Services is to habilitate at risk and delinquent youth in Morgan County and keep them out of institutions whenever possible.  The basic concept behind the agency’s efforts is to wrap a comprehensive array of individualized services and support networks around these at risk youth, rather than forcing them to enroll in pre-determined, inflexible treatment programs.  Licensed by the Alabama


Local resources continued Department of Youth Services as a Comprehensive Youth Services Center, the majority of SOS’ clients are juveniles ordered by the Morgan County Juvenile Court. However, SOS offers services to juveniles referred by other community agencies, such as the Decatur School System.

The Enrichment Center Phone: 256-341-0811 The Enrichment Center provides quality care to adolescents who experience substance abuse problems. After a comprehensive assessment, an individualized plan of care is designed and implemented by an experienced and licensed therapist. This plan includes working with the adolescent and his/her family. It is our mission to make a difference in the lives of everyday people. There are also psychiatrists, psychologists and counselors in private practice in the community. Call the Mental Health Association for information and referral (353-1160). Source: Growing Up Drug Free: A Parent’s Guide To Prevention


national resources Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters 1600 Corporate Landing Parkway Virginia Beach, VA 23454-5617

Connect for Kids

Family Guide

National Institute on Drug Abuse National Institute of Health 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 5213 Bethesda, MD 20892-9561

National PTA

Nemours Foundation: KidsHealth

Office of National Drug Control Policy Drug Policy Information Clearinghouse P.O. Box 6000 Rockville, MD 20849-6000 1-800-666-3332

Parents. The Anti-Drug

Partnership for a Drug Free America 405 Lexington Avenue Suite 1601A New York, NY 10174

TimeToTalk - the conversation starts here

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

For Parents in Decatur City, Hartselle City, & Morgan County Schools

What You Need to Know...A Parent's Handbook on Youth Alcohol and Drug Use  

What You Need to Know...A Parent's Handbook on Youth and Alcohol and Drug Use was created by the Mental Health Association in Morgan County...

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