CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee(WDEF) - This is the annual National Drug Facts Week
and it's an effort to raise awareness about how to talk to children about drugs and drug abuse.
Tony Neuhoff is a licensed drug abuse counselor at the Parkridge Valley Child and Adolescent Campus
in Chattanooga. He says raising children is tough and talking to them about drugs and possible drug abuse can be even tougher if the parent is already in denial.
"They may see some signs in their children but then the denial kicks in and they say well maybe that's not connected," Neuhoff said.
Talking to children about drugs is one thing but teaching by example is a whole different beast if mom or dad is a drug user.
"There's that old adage that says do as I say and not as I do but the action speak louder than words," Neuhoff said.
Because it is such a touchy subject to tackle, parents can take advantage of a free evaluation service offered through the Parkridge Valley Respond Program
"We'll do a free and confidential assessment whether or not we treat the child or adult and we will give them what our recommendations is," Neuhoff said.
Recommendations can range from advice on how to talk to your child to the consideration of actual treatment. The treatment program is not free and may or may not be covered by your insurance. But Neuhoff says ignoring or denying your child has a drug problem can be more expensive than the treatment.
"It is about money but it's also about the health. It's about the longevity. It's about careers, It's about all of those things that fall into play. It's like money in the bank because if I had done this on the front end and got started early, it could have saved so much grief for the family," Neuhoff said.
For more information about talking to your kids about drugs or receiving a free consultation, please call the Parkridge Valley Respond Program at (423) 499-2300 or (800) 542-9600. All calls are confidential.