Let’s make a difference on kids’ health | SummitDaily.com

Let’s make a difference on kids’ health

Jeanie Ringelbergexecutive directorSummit Prevention Alliance

Thank you to the Summit Daily News for its coverage Feb. 11 of an important issue in Summit County – youth alcohol and drug use.At the school board’s February work session, we learned about the impact of drug use on learning, the impact of drug use on the brain and the prevalence of drug use among youth in our community.Youth drug use is an issue and a challenge for the health of our community. However, one of the strategies for addressing youth drug use is to focus on the healthy norms and positive behaviors of our kids.Most of the work session was devoted to looking at the problem, challenges and solutions of youth substance abuse in Summit County. We did not have the opportunity to spend much time on positive messages and so I would like to point out a few things:– Most Summit County students choose not to use tobacco. In fact, the rate of 30-day tobacco use for Summit County students is lower than the average national rate. — Most Summit High School students report that their parents provide healthy environments at home. Three-fourths of our students say that their parents provide an alcohol-free environment for underage guests.– Our middle and high school students are making healthy choices. Hats off to our youth for making healthy decisions and hats off to our parents and community for supporting healthy choices.Let’s join together as a community to make a difference in the health of our kids.Everyone is invited through the Drug-Free Community Coalition in developing a communitywide strategic plan that prevents and reduces youth substance abuse in Summit County. If you cannot make it to the March 8 meeting at the Summit County Community and Senior Center from 8-10 a.m., please contact Summit Prevention Alliance at (970) 668-2077 to give your feedback and input.A community joining together for the health of its kids is a community that cares. Thanks for caring!

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