District Proactive in Preventing Substance Abuse

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The East Rockaway School District hosted an innovative parent education forum on March 6 that focused on Dr. Dave Campbell’s “The Teen Formula: A Parent’s Guide to Helping Your Child Avoid Substance Abuse.”

The event took place at Rhame Avenue Elementary School and was well attended by district administrators, social workers and teachers, along with approximately 30 parents. 

In the book, Dr. Campbell provides insight on the different challenges that often lead adolescents to substance abuse and identifies 11 parenting strategies clinically proven to help youth avoid or overcome addictive behaviors. This easy-to-read guide was offered to all parents in the district at no cost, thanks to a grant from the East Rockaway Education Foundation. Upon registering, parents received their copy of the book and an invitation to the dinner and book discussion event.

During the event, participants were arranged into small groups to discuss the book and share parenting experiences and strategies. Discussions focused on how to build a positive parent-child relationship, how to talk to your children about substance use, how to set and maintain boundaries, rules and consequences, how to help your child make healthy decisions and develop positive coping strategies, and when/how to intervene with your child if they are already engaged in substance use or other risky behaviors.

The evening was a great success and feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Parents indicated that the most valuable part of the event was “sharing experiences and hearing valuable lessons from other parents,” “finding common ground with other parents, despite having children of different ages” and “feeling connected to others and not alone in this difficult journey of parenting.” The Prevention Task Force hopes to host similar events in the future that provide parents with the opportunity to connect, learn and support one another.