Parent Connection Forum Will Address ‘Urgent’ Survey Concerns

Newtown Bee The talk will be facilitated by substance abuse expert Elizabeth Driscoll-Jorgensen, and feature panelists from all factions of the community. Participants will hear the most recent information regarding the reality of alcohol and drug use among the youth in Newtown and surrounding areas.The panelists will speak candidly about the current issues from their personal and professional perspectives. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions of the following young people and adults who will comprise the panel: Police Officer Dominic Costello, Newtown Middle School and High School youth resource officer; Judy Blanchard, chair of Newtown Prevention Council; Beth Agen, executive director of Newtown Youth & Family Services, and Scott Clayton, Newtown High School assistant principal.

Middle and high school students who attend this forum with their parents or guardians will be offered Community Involvement Certificates.

“The premise behind this forum is to get as many people as possible talking about the issue of substance use and abuse in our community. We need to separate fact from fiction and get a true picture of the problem,” said Dorrie Carolan, Newtown Parent Connection co-founder. “Mr Lundquist’s survey has reopened the dialogue and indicates that the people of Newtown are interested and concerned about knowing the facts and making a difference.”

According to the survey, there is a disturbingly high belief — among 67 percent of those who responded — that there is a substance abuse problem among Newtown teens. This figure represents the thinking toward all age groups and was irrespective of whether or not respondents have children in school.

“Although this is an issue that seems easy to agree on as a general concern, the rating was based specifically on rating it as a ‘Most Urgent’ problem or a ‘major problem’ facing Newtown,” Mr Lundquist explained during recent presentations on his survey results.

The February 26 panel is made up of a cross section of people who each have a piece of the substance use puzzle, and this will elicit a fascinating conversation. All concerned parents, guardians, educators, grandparents, coaches, and anyone who lives or works with young people are invited to attend this provocative forum.

Parents are invited to bring their children.

For additional information contact Ms Carolan at 994-5394 or Donna DeLuca at 426-9280. Learn more about the Parent Connection by visiting NewtownParentConnection.org

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