Kenosha County holding anti-drug summit for parents, children, and community

CREATED Apr 10, 2014

  • Print

KENOSHA - The Kenosha County Division of Health will hold an anti-drug summit Thursday night that focuses on the growing problem of opiate and heroin use in the community.

"We will have a panel of experts that are going to talk about the problem in our area, talk about prevention, and really just highlight how parents need to have a conversation with kids about drugs and drug prevention," said Krystal Rafenstein, a public health nurse with the county.

The summit is called, "Why Didn't I See It? Waking From Every Parent's Nightmare."

"A lot of the time, parents don't realize what's going on until it spirals out of control. Parents start noticing things like small things missing from their house, like jewelry, or a little bit of money here and there. And what we know is by that time, the addiction has already taken hold," explained Rafenstein.

There are early warning signs parents should watch for.

"Pupils dilated, the kid is withdrawing from their normal activities. And what we do know is that some of the telltale signs can also just kind of mirror normal teen activities. Changing all of their friends, starting to do really poorly in school, those are some of the big signs where you should start asking questions of your kids."

The Division of Health encourages parents to have conversations with their kids about drugs, alcohol, and tobacco at an early age because some kids start using drugs at a shockingly young age.

"We're seeing it as young as twelve years old," Rafenstein said.

The Summit is being held at Mahone Middle School at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. It's free and open to the public. Parents are encouraged to bring their children.