CELINA — The challenges of raising adolescents in rural Ohio could never be greater, parents were told Sunday during a symposium held at the Tri-Star Compact Building.
“This is a symposium to help educate and inform the local public on dangers of drug use, what they can do as parents to try to get better informed and try to prevent drug use among their kids,” said Dr. Leanne Kline, one of the organizers of the Auglaize-Mercer Drug Prevention Symposium.
The event was a coordinated effort by law enforcement, Grand Lake Health System as well as several other drug prevention agencies to help parents underscore he scope of the problem.
“Vaping is becoming much more commonplace, you know, and what they’re using in the vape, as well. That’s becoming a big issue and more illnesses are coming from the vaping as well,” said Kline.
Dr. Aaron Kuhn was the keynote speaker.
“This generational thing that happens in rural communities is we’re not too insightful over our emotions,” said Kuhn. “We don’t know how to share our emotions nor regulate our emotions and that’s where substance abuse comes in. Adolescents, find a substance and it medicates emotions that they don’t even know that they have and through self-medication of emotions it can generate a substance abuse issue or something we call state-dependent learning. It’s when we learn under the state of a substance, how to deal with emotions.”
As part of the symposium, there was a “Hidden in Plain Sight” room where parents could be shown potential locations of where their kids might be hiding illegal substances.
“If they find something that’s hidden in a bedroom or another area of the house then they understand they got a problem in this way. They know what to look for,” said Al Solomon, Auglaize County Sheriff.
Efforts like the Drug Prevention Symposium are important to help reach the community.
“We’re hoping with the coordinated effort between all the agencies involved that people will see that we feel it’s important and as a vehicle trying to strengthen the bond together to get people to come to these kinds of things,” said Solomon.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.