Shonna Moss, manager of the Winn Community Health Clinic’s grant through the Rural Substance Abuse Prevention Project, was the guest of President Jodi Taylor and last week’s speaker for the Winnfield Rotary meeting on Wednesday, February 3, 2021.
The grant is being used to help families with children at risk for teen substance abuse improve their chances of preventing development of drug and alcohol addiction in their children.
Ms. Moss cited grave results of studies showing that 45% of children who begin drinking alcohol at age 13 will go on to become alcohol dependent, that 67% of children who binge drink before the age of 15 will go on to use illegal drugs, and 85% of all crime in the United States is directly or indirectly attributable to alcohol or drug abuse and addiction. She also noted that one child out of twelve in the United States lives with an addicted parent, and that alcohol and drug abuse cost this country $500 billion a year.
Ms. Moss said that studies show that teens who use alcohol and/or drugs have higher rates of depression, school failure and teen pregnancy than teens who do not use those substances. Further, a person who reaches the age of 21 without using alcohol or drugs will likely not become addicted to such substances.
The program funded by the grant is called the Strengthening Families Program. It consists of a 12 to 14-week course, with two hours per week spent in the classroom, teaching families positive skills involving bonding, boundaries and monitoring to strengthen the family unit and improve parent/child/sibling relationships in such a way as to help children avoid using alcohol, tobacco or other drugs. The program has been successful in decreasing family conflict, reducing depression and anxiety in children, and dramatically reducing tobacco, alcohol and drug use and abuse.
According to Ms. Moss, the program will begin in our community when several families have been recruited to participate, and it is open to any family in the community willing to learn, as every family can benefit from the skills taught in the course. The primary target is the family already dealing with conflict, problems in school, and general misconduct. Anyone interested in participating in the course may contact Ms. Moss at (318) 628-0169.
The Rotary Club of Winnfield meets every Wednesday at Noon for lunch at Lynda’s Country Kitchen. For more information about the Rotary Club of Winnfield, you may contact President, Jodi Taylor (832) 573-5085. You can also find club information on Facebook at Rotary Club of Winnfield Facebook Page or online at Rotary.org.