Program aims to prevent teen drug abuse in Boone County


By Heather Lusk

The impact of addictive substances on school-aged students can be irreversible. So an upcoming program will educate parents on the signs of addictive behaviors and the ways drugs can affect the brain.

CIZ COM 0822 Drug Event

“What every parent needs to know about substance abuse prevention” was initiated by the Youth and Family Health Network, a Lebanon-based group with a mission to reduce and prevent substance abuse.

“When we bring people in, it’s all about education, it’s about the stigma, it’s about allowing someone to feel that they’re safe to come in and get help,” said Larry Prater, a board member and speaker for YFHN.

The program is YFHN’s third in Zionsville. Prater wants to continue the conversation locally and throughout the county.

“We’re just trying to create a positive outlook in a community wanting to grow together, and that’s Boone County,” Prater said.

The session is geared toward parents of middle- and high school-aged children. According to Dr. Amy LaHood, the moderator for the program, the brain of a school-age student isn’t fully developed until between the ages of 21 and 24, so exposure to addictive substances can cause irreversible damage. LaHood also will share resources available for those who struggle with addiction.

Prater, a recovering alcoholic, reiterated the importance of seeking help.

“We never fail to get our oil changed or change the lint trap. Those things we need to operate,” he said. “We all need a checkup just to make sure we’re in line with where we want to go in the pursuit of our vision.”

Drug abuse prevention program

When: 7 to 8:30 p.m., Aug. 30

Where: Whitestown Municipal Complex, 6210 Veterans Dr., Whitestown

Cost: Free