Empowering tweens and teens to say no to drugs and alcohol

Parenting forum set for April 25 in Granite Bay
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At 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 25, St. Joseph Marello Catholic Church will host a public event for parents to better understand the use and abuse of drugs and alcohol in the peer communities of their children, and how to engage their own children in substance abuse prevention.

The event is produced by the Coalition for Placer Youth, a Placer County grassroots youth substance abuse prevention organization dedicated to helping parents, faith leaders, educators, law enforcement and policy makers engage in prevention strategies that support a drug-free lifestyle for youth.

Alan Baker is the co-chair of the Steering Committee for CPY.

“Youth substance abuse and addiction is becoming the No. 1 public health problem in America,” Baker said. “And the local statistics and surveys of our youth correlate with national trends. We at CPY know that providing parents with the information and insights to encourage children to decide for themselves to stay sober when it seems like everyone else is ‘doing it’ is the single most important strategy for safe and healthy youth.”

The presentation will focus on three main “must know” areas for parents:

· What the children in the local community have said (in surveys) they are witnessing about how their peers use and abuse drugs and alcohol, but find it difficult to talk about. (Presenter: Alan Baker, co-chair of the Steering Committee for CPY)

· Differences between use, experimenting, abuse and addiction of drugs and alcohol. (Presenter: Dr. Angela Chanter, co-director of Therapeutic Solutions 360 and co-founder of Full Circle Treatment Center)

· How to engage the hearts and minds of tweens and teens to express prevention as their own empowerment. (Presenter: Joanna Jullien, creator of Banana Moments newsletter, and co-chair of the Steering Committee for CPY)

Father Paul McDonnell is the pastor at St. Joseph Marello Church in Granite Bay.

“We are thrilled to host an event where the parents in our parish community and the community at large can get a genuine glimpse of what our children are experiencing in their networked communities but find it difficult to share with parents, and how to become an effective communicator on this important topic,” he said.

The church is at 7200 Auburn Folsom Road, Granite Bay. For more information, visit