“Don’t Wait”: Short Film Educates Parents to Protect Youth from Drugs
“This is your brain. This is your brain on drugs.” The infamous 1980s anti-drug ad is often laughed about, but it was intended to raise awareness of the fact that drug use during adolescence can damage the developing brain. To help parents educate their children effectively, the Westport Prevention Coalition (WPC) is offering free streaming access to a 52-minute documentary, “Don’t Wait,” throughout October.
The Westport PTA Health & Wellness Committee is helping spread the word, recognizing that today’s youth are exposed to substances in different ways from in the past, and the substances themselves have changed. For example, cannabis concentrates can deliver 96% pure THC with no CBD or plant matter. Delivery mechanisms such as vapes and pouches are another recent development.
“This film will update parents’ knowledge and prepare them to answer tough questions from their kids,” said Kevin Godburn, director of Westport Youth Services and WPC co-chair. “We know that parents are one of the most important influences on whether youth will use substances or not.”
Nationally, underage substance use has been declining for decades, as the risks of early substance use have become better recognized and legal ages have changed to better reflect those risks.
“The three most important factors that prevent kids from using alcohol or other drugs are their awareness of the risks, their belief that their parents disapprove, and their belief that their peers disapprove,” notes Margaret Watt, prevention director at Positive Directions and WPC co-chair. “That’s why we want to make sure parents are informed, talking frequently with their kids, and communicating clearly in ways that counteract the messages that are so prevalent in the media.”
Parents and guardians can RSVP here to get a pre-paid promocode allowing them to stream the film at their convenience anytime during October. As follow-up, WPC is also offering two drop-in zoom sessions for parents who want to ask questions or learn more. Click to sign up for the October 24 session or the October 26 session, both at 7pm. These events will be facilitated by WPC members, including the PTA Health & Wellness chairs.
Pleas help spread the word to parents! Download "Don't Wait" flyer below to share out:
About WPC: The Westport Prevention Coalition works to prevent substance misuse in Westport through educational programs, environmental efforts, and advocacy. We encourage interested community members and organizations to join us! Meetings are held online on the 1st Tuesday of each month at 3pm. Visit westporttogether.org/prevention-coalition for more information.