Cape Girardeau Co. Public Health launches virtual educational drug program for parents

Health officials in Cape Girardeau are raising awareness about teens and drug use this afternoon.
Published: Nov. 3, 2022 at 6:33 PM CDT|Updated: Nov. 18, 2022 at 10:18 AM CST
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - As a parent, you may think you know every trick your teenager has up their sleeve, but it can be tough to spot the signs of concealing drugs or alcohol.

The Cape Girardeau Public Health Center says parents should be talking with their kids about drugs and alcohol no later than middle school.

”You want to start talking to kids about drugs before it gets to that point,” said Stacy Skidmore, Cape County public health educator.

The health department is showing parents what to look out for through a virtual program called “Hidden in Plain Sight.”

“It helps teach educators, parents and other individuals who work with youth how to talk to kids who may be doing drugs, how to look for clues hidden within their rooms,” Skidmore said.

Back in 2017, we showed you what teens use to stash pills, alcohol and other drugs at home.

Ryan Essex, with Gibson Center Behavioral Change, said teens are finding new and creative ways to do it.

“I believe that high school age kids grade 9-12 about half of them experiment with marijuana during their high school years and if you look at other prescription medication is really becoming much more prevalent in our community,” said Essex.

Essex said it’s important for parents to know how to talk to their kids if they are using drugs.

“As people we tend to, at times, do not respond well to being accused of something. So, I think trying to be understanding, that being a kid is hard now and kids are gonna make mistakes, but those mistakes don’t have to be compounded,” Essex said

Skidmore said the goal of this program is to make a difference.

“We hope to reach at least one, two, three a handful of individuals that will stop and think before they take that first pill, or they take that first drink, or they engage in activities that is going to put them in a place that they don’t want to be in,” said Skidmore.

The virtual program is an hour long and will be held on Friday, November 18 at 2 p.m.

Registration is required for parents. Click here to register.