Local physicians focus on teen substance abuse

The Vernon School District will present a public discussion on the medical aspects of teen substance abuse

Parents may worry about cocaine or other drugs but substances closer at hand may present more harm to their children.

The Vernon School District will present a public  discussion on the medical aspects of teen substance abuse Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Vernon Secondary School.

“When you talk to kids and families, they have a perspective on drugs and alcohol and it’s based on misconceptions,” said Doug Ross, the district’s substance abuse prevention counsellor.

However, while there is a focus on cocaine and other hard drugs, Rogers says 90 per cent of drug-related deaths in Canada involve tobacco and alcohol.

“It’s important to know what it’s doing to our kids,” he said of tobacco, alcohol and marijuana.

The presentation will involve three local physicians — David Smith, Chris Cunningham and Mike Concannon.

“What are the medical consequences and mental health consequences of those substances?” said Rogers.

Along with information about marijuana, alcohol and tobacco, the speakers will also offer suggestions on teaching young people appropriate coping skills.

“We need to talk about the medical impact and fact-based information,” said Rogers.

“We need to teach our kids resiliency. Parents and grandparents can help kids with that.”

The presentation is free to attend and children and youth are welcome.

For more information about the presentation, call Rogers at 250-549-6179.