Drug seminar aims to educate parents

Published 12:39 pm Thursday, March 12, 2009

When it comes to youth drug abuse, former Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Robert Stutman says parents should never utter the words, “Not my kid.”

Stutman, a renowned substance abuse expert from Baltimore, Md., will present “Three Killer Words … Not My Kid” at Pelham High School on March 24 and 26 from 7 to 9 p.m. Stutman will educate parents about the frequency of youth drug abuse for the first hour. The second hour will be devoted to community discussion. Doors open at 6 p.m. both nights.

Stutman, who was a DEA special agent for 25 years, has appeared on the television shows “60 Minutes,” “Nightline,” and “The Today Show.” His no-nonsense approach has led him to educate people in more than 70 countries.

The free event is sponsored by the city of Pelham, Pelham High School, Riverchase Middle School and Helena Middle School. Pelham City Councilwoman Karyl Rice said Stutman’s message is beneficial to the community.

“We do know that there is a drug problem in the entire U.S., and we can’t shut our eyes to what happens in our own community,” Rice said. “Anything we can do to keep our city informed and hopefully keep them free from the trappings that come with drug addiction, we’re willing to step forward and do that.”

According to recent statistics, the U.S. consumes more than 50 percent of the world’s drugs with an average first-use age of 12-and-a-half. The number of drug addicts in the U.S. over the age of 12 has doubled since 1992.

Jennifer Goolsby, principal of Helena Middle School, said it’s important for both parents and children to know the dangers of drugs. Stutman’s visit serves to drive the message home.

“The focus there is to get (the community) information about when we generally start to see kids get into drugs and alcohol, and what parents can do to be watching for symptoms,” Goolsby said.

For more information, visit the Web site www.thestutmangroup.com.