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Knowing what your kids are doing is better than not
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       Recently, Willingway Hospital held a community forum to address the concern of teenage use of technology to communicate about drugs and alcohol through codes. As new communication technologies are developed, the gap between parents and children seems to widen.
       At our forum, we discussed current trends in drugs of abuse and noted to parents that alcohol still remains the number one substance of abuse among all age groups with prescription drugs running a close second place.
      Dr. Greg Jones, physician of Willingway Hospital, encouraged parents and families to get involved in the lives of their children and young adults. He as well as Sergeant Rob Bryan of the Statesboro Police Dept noted it is imperative that adults ask questions about what their children's text messages mean and look at what they are searching and reading on the internet. It is important to note the many websites that are specifically dedicated to teaching young people how to make, obtain, use, and intensify the effects of drugs.
      If your child is looking at such websites and you have noticed other changes in his/her behaviors, there is cause for much concern.
      Other topics of concern that were addressed included grandparents raising grandchildren and the generational gap that exist between the two. Young people need not buy drugs from dealers as the medicine cabinet at home generally has several common drugs of abuse readily available.
      Sergeant Bryan stated there is a program in the community at present that encourages families to bring unused medications in to be properly disposed. The general concern of the forum participants was the age old question of how do parents address these issues within families.
      We encouraged parents to set and maintain boundaries with their children. Fear of knowing the truth is likely the most powerful barrier to parents' ability to set and maintain boundaries. We also encouraged parents to call Willingway Hospital for help.
      We have been a community resource since 1971 and our staff can meet and talk with families about help that is available within our community.
        As National Recovery Month ended in September, we want to emphasize the message of hope and recovery from the challenges of drug and alcohol addiction. There is hope and there is help.
      Willingway Hospital is committed to providing future educational opportunities and community support programs that will continue to promote the message of hope and the message of recovery.
Jimmy Mooney
CEO, Willingway Hospital

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