Drug, alcohol Community Ed class offers parenting tipsAmber Marko and Shannon Bartlett want to change Wisconsin’s culture of teenage drinking, so they’re offering a two-day class to help parents and other adults understand the effects of common drugs and the dangers of allowing teenagers to drink.
By: By Jackie Grumish, New Richmond News
Amber Marko and Shannon Bartlett want to change Wisconsin’s culture of teenage drinking, so they’re offering a two-day class to help parents and other adults understand the effects of common drugs and the dangers of allowing teenagers to drink.
“There’s a culture in Wisconsin that it’s OK for youth to drink or for adults to provide alcohol for minors,” said Marko, Youth service Bureau’s community justice coordinator. “We want to get the point across that, while it’s legal for kids to drink with their parents, is it safe?”
The class, which is being organized through New Richmond Community Education, is slated for Thursday, Oct. 4, and Friday, Oct. 5, from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. The class will cover topics including the basics about alcohol, marijuana, prescription drugs and inhalants.
“Those are the four more prevalent drugs in St. Croix County,” Marko said. “We’ll spend the most time on alcohol.”
This is the second time the program has been offered in the area, she said.
“We had only one person attend the first time around,” she said.
She’s hoping for many more in October.
Marko said the problem is that parents think they’ll be judged if they attend the class.
“People see the title and they don’t want to go because they think people will judge them or they think everyone will think their teenager has a problem,” she said.
Marko said it’s more likely that the people who attend the class are the people who don’t have teenagers with problems.
“It’s usually the parents who get it that are coming to these kinds of things,” she said. “It’s the parents at home that really should be here.”
Marko said parents often don’t recognize the symptoms of substance abuse in their teens until it’s too late.
“You know, they might catch their kid drinking and they say it’s their first time,” she said. “Well, most parents don’t want to think their kid might be drinking every weekend.”
Marko, who is a Wisconsin native, said she just wants parents and other area adults to realize that teenage drinking is not safe.
“We put a lot of work into this because we feel it’s that important,” she said.
The Alcohol and Drug Trends class is open to all parents, educators, day care providers and other concerned community members. The class costs $10 per person for both nights. To register, call New Richmond Community Education at 715-243-7421, or visit www.newrichmond.k12.wi.us.