"Communities "Wake-Up" to threat of drug abuse"
By: Cynthia Gould, ABC 3340
ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports
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"Addiction Prevention Coalition talks to Vestavia Hills community"
It was a chance for parents to hear from the kids themselves about what works and what doesn't, when it comes to steering children away from the pit-falls of drug use.
“I wasn't drinking as a social thing; I was drinking to get drunk,” explained Suzie Sarcone. Only after she got caught drunk at a football game did she get the help she needed. Now she works to make sure parents see the warning signs.
Sarcone and Brad Blount were among those sharing their stories at a packed “Wake Up” breakfast in Vestavia where leaders work to make sure the problem is not swept under the rug.
“I shouldn't be here today with the stuff I was doing, the lifestyle I was living,” explained Blount. He was a popular high school athlete when injury ended his playing time. The pain pills quickly lead to a $600 a week heroin addiction. “I had no faith, no care in the world. Everything revolved around when am I going to get that next fix.”
The Addiction Prevention Coalition, which hosted the event, believes the best way to fight abuse is to train young people, send them back into the schools where they can lead conversations about the dangers of drugs.
“The stuff I grew up with doesn't work: the coercion, the manipulation, the scare tactics,” says Carl Lynn with APC. He reminds parent to remember not to judge and condemn others when they make mistakes or it will make your child less likely to talk about their own.
The students also warned parents not to give their kids too much cash and really keep tabs on where they are and who they're with. Even a locked liquor cabinet is not fool-proof. If your child is prescribed pain-killers, you should keep the bottle and only give them what they need each day.
Vestavia and Homewood police departments have drop-boxes to get rid of old prescription medications.