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Dupage Policy Journal

Thursday, November 14, 2019

CITY OF ELMHURST: Wake Up Call Life-Size Exhibit and Special Presentation

Community

By Press release submission | Nov 9, 2019

Exhibit

City of Elmhurst issued the following announcement on Nov. 6.

On Tuesday, November 19th, Your Choice to Live, Inc. will present Wake Up Call, a substance abuse educational program, at Bryan Middle School from 7:00-8:30 PM. A resource fair will be held prior to the event from 6:30-7:00 PM. This event is hosted by the City of Elmhurst Commission on Youth.

Schools across the Midwest report that vaping and marijuana devices are the two most common contraband items students are getting caught with in school. Across the United States, e-cigarette use, also known as vaping, is reaching epidemic proportions among teenagers. According to the American Lung Association, more than 3.6 million U.S. middle and high school students have reported using e-cigarettes in the past 30 days. According to the Surgeon General's health advisory, about one third of middle and high school students who used e-cigarettes used them as a delivery device for marijuana. Health officials are concerned about this growing trend "because cannabis use among youth can adversely affect learning and memory and may impair later academic achievement and education.”

There are many health concerns with e-cigarette use. Although some don’t contain nicotine, e-cigarette juices use liquid nicotine extracted from tobacco and can contain as much nicotine as an entire pack of cigarettes. There are also concerns about increased exposure to toxins, including heavy metals, chemical compounds, and other fine particles that may get absorbed into the lung. Additionally, e-cigarettes can be used as a delivery system for other drugs.

The Wake Up Call presentation will begin with addressing these current drug trends such as vaping, marijuana, alcohol and prescription pills. Next, attendees are walked through a life-size teen bedroom with more than 20 “red flags” that can signal drug or alcohol use. The bedroom identifies spots where drugs can be hidden, household items that can be used as drug paraphernalia and ways teens try to cover up drug and alcohol use.

“With the development of technology, kids have more access to information than ever before. If a person wants to get “high”, all they have to do is search the internet. If they want to hide drugs in their room, there are devices sold online to do so. Drug deals are continuously conducted on social media apps such as snapchat. As parents, it’s hard to keep up with all the latest trends,” said Sandi Lybert, founder of Your Choice to Live, Inc.”

Lastly, attendees will learn practical prevention strategies to prevent substance abuse and where to go for help if they are concerned. Attendees will also receive a Wake Up Call Handbook, a 30+ page comprehensive resource guide with current drugs trends, signs of abuse, hiding places and relevant paraphernalia, parenting tips and resources all in one place.

Our goal is to educate parents, teachers, community members and other adults who are influential in the lives of youth so they know what seemingly innocent items can be an indication of substance abuse.

This is an educational opportunity for adults only (21 years of age and over).

For questions about this event, please contact Jackie at youthcommission630@gmail.com or a Your Choice team member at yourchoice.live@yahoo.com.

For more information or to register for this FREE event, please visit: https://wakeupcallelmhurst.eventbrite.com

Any person who has a disability requiring a reasonable accommodation to participate in this meeting, should contact Valerie Johnson, ADA Compliance Officer, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., City of Elmhurst, 209 N. York Street, Elmhurst, IL 60126, or call 630-530-8095 TDD, within a reasonable time before the meeting. Requests for a qualified interpreter require five (5) working days' advance notice.

About the presenters:

Sandi Lybert, Founder Your Choice to Live, Inc - Sandi's personal experience with her son, Tyler's addiction and her passion for helping others led her to leave her career in banking to start Your Choice to Live, Inc. In 2017, Sandi was named the Waukesha County Champion of the Year for her efforts to promote and improve the quality of life in Waukesha County.

Ashleigh Nowakowski, Executive Director, Your Choice to Live, Inc. - Ashleigh Nowakowski has been working in the substance abuse prevention field since 2009. Her work includes speaking in middle and high schools, teaching in health classes, and working with high risk youth in the Detour program. Ashleigh also has experience working with youth who are concerned about a loved one’s substance use. Ashleigh has her Master’s degree in Public Administration.

About Your Choice to Live, Inc.

Your Choice to Live, Inc. is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization that provides alcohol and drug prevention, education, intervention and support. Since its inception in 2009, Your Choice has provided services to more than 700 families, and has spoken to more than 175,000 youth in middle and high schools across Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana. Your Choice recently was designated a State of Wisconsin certified community substance abuse prevention program.

Original source can be found here.

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