PACT 360 Training: Drug prevention and intervention set for community
Mark Friedel Staff Reporter
ROCMND Youth Services will host an educational training on drug prevention and early intervention for parents and youth from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday at the Claremore Community Center.
ROCMND, which stands for Rogers, Ottawa, Craig, Mayes, Nowata and Delaware Counties, is a community-based agency that provides behavioral programs and counseling for children and their families.
Thursday’s training, entitled “Police and Communities Together” (PACT 360), is a type of awareness campaign for parents and youth to discuss prevention of drug and alcohol abuse, how to talk to children about the dangers and what to look for when it comes to abuse in the household.
Training is an hour long and will include informative videos, as well as, question and answer type scenarios for parents.
Erik Smoot, senior agent for the State Alcoholic Beverage Law Enforcement Commission (ABLE), will be conducting the training. For more than four years, Smoot has protected the public welfare and interest through the enforcement of laws dealing with alcohol, charity games and youth access to tobacco. He said parents will learn how to become the go-to source when their children have questions related to drugs and alcohol.
According to the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, nearly 40 percent of 9-12th graders used an illegal drug at least once and 8 percent of those students tried marijuana before age 13. More than 25 percent of 9-12th graders were offered, sold or given an illegal drug by someone on school property.
Smoot said during the training, he will discuss ways for parents to bring up the issue of drug abuse, as well as, the types of drugs children and teenager may bring into the home.
Oklahoma is currently ranked No. 1 in prescription medication abuse and 10th in other illicit drug use, according to information provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. More than 8 percent of Oklahomans ages 12 and older have abused painkillers in the past year.
In 2010, Oklahoma had the fourth highest unintentional poisoning death rate in the U.S. (17.9 deaths per 100,000 population). Prescription painkillers were the most common drug, involved in 87 percent of these deaths, according to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The most frequently used substance is alcohol, followed by tobacco, street drugs and prescription painkillers.
Rogers County Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force, an affiliate of Healthy Community Partnership, will assist in Thursday’s PACT 360 training and provide attendees with free hot dogs, chips and drinks.
PACT 360 is free and open to the public. For more information visit the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services website at ok.gov/odmhsas and click on PACT360.