It was standing room only inside the Foley Civic Center City Council Chambers as parents, students and community leaders came together for a town hall meeting.
The event was sponsored by the Baldwin County Community Alliance (BCCA).
Concerned parents had the opportunity to speak directly to local law enforcement, community agencies and health care providers on the negative effects of underage drinking and drug use.
Parents were hit with some pretty staggering statistics by a representative of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Jason Capstraw, Resident Agent in Charge of Mobile, said 60 percent of abused prescription drug use happens in the home.
“If you are done with your prescriptions and you have pills leftover, get rid of them. Don’t leave them sitting in your cabinet. Prescription drug abuse is only second to marijuana and it’s a gateway to other opiates like heroine,” Capstraw warned.
One parent on the panel shared that concern. Sonya talked about how her son managed to get his hands on anti-anexity medication from his father, when he was just 11 years old. “Most kids get these medications from their house. They are not getting it from the streets, they are getting it from the medicine cabinet,” Lavet said.
Each panel member spoke for approximately five minutes. Parents were then allowed time for a question and answer session. Several parents wanted to what’s being done in the schools to crack down on the problem.
Panelists told parents it’s all about setting a good example. If you don’t want your children popping pills –then don’t be irresponsible with your prescription medication. They added that the same goes for underage drinking. If you don’t want your teen drinking alcohol –then don’t drink alcohol in their presence. Hosting a party with underage drinking is illegal. A parent cannot give their child permission to drink alcohol.
Panel members included:
Chief David Wilson, Foley Police Department, Chief of Police
Russ Moore, Foley High School, Principal
Labron Williams, Foley Police Department, School resource Officer
Gabrielle Quaites, BCCA Student Representative
Madeline Laurendine, BCCA Student Representative
Jason Capstraw, Drug Enforcement Administration, Resident Agent in Charge, Mobile
Jamie Maloy, State Bureau of Investigation
Robin Riggins, Executive Director, AltaPointe Health Systems
Virginia Guy, Executive Director, Drug Education Council
Micki Raber, Nurse Practitioner
Sonya Lavet, Parent
For more information on future meetings visit the BCCA’S website at: http://www.proudtobefreebaldwin.org.