Monthly Message City Manager Ken Striplin – The Importance of Drug Prevention
According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, youth drug abuse is a high-profile public health concern that is on the rise. In fact, the number of eighth-grade students who have used drugs has spiked 61% between 2016 and 2020, with 86% of teenagers reporting that they know someone who smokes, drinks or uses drugs during the school day. These alarming statistics are even more worrisome due to the ease with which teens can use social media to purchase drugs.
While discussions at home can bring the topic out into the open, continued education and messaging is needed to reinforce positive decision-making skills as our youth grow. The City of Santa Clarita is assisting through the award-winning Drug Free Youth in Santa Clarita Valley (DFY in SCV) program, which delivers curriculum support and both educational and social opportunities for Santa Clarita students in elementary, middle and high schools. Even with the challenges of the pandemic – the program was able to reach over 41,000 students during the 2019-2020 school year.
The mission of DFY in SCV is to educate and empower students to make good choices, while learning lifelong skills to combat negative peer pressure and easy-to-remember strategies to say no to drugs and alcohol. It is a free, school-based, voluntary, anti-drug club that provides a positive network that supports good choices, leadership and a drug-free lifestyle.
This month, the City will be educating parents on navigating the dangers of social media through the 2021 Parent Resource Symposium titled “Social Media: The New Gateway Drug.” This is especially important because statistics show that approximately 70% of teens use social media multiple times a day. The event is scheduled for Wednesday, September 22, at 5:30 p.m. For more information, please visit www.DFYinSCV.com/Parent-Engagement.
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