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Prescription drug abuse is topic for brown bag lunches

Daily in the United States, 2,500 youth, 12 to 17 years old, abuse a prescription pain reliever for the first time (drugabuse.gov). Parents will learn more startling facts at brown bag lunches during Red Ribbon Week.

Detective Stephen Reaves, narcotics investigator with Madison Police Department, will speak at Liberty and Discovery middle schools. Discovery’s brown bag lunch will be Oct. 24 and Liberty’s on Oct. 26, both at 11:30 a.m.

Parents from all Madison schools are invited. PTAs at Liberty and Discovery, along with Madison City Council of PTAs, are sponsoring the lunches.

The PTA council strives to educate parents about current issues affecting children, president Sonja Griffith said. During Red Ribbon Week, the council wanted to connect with Discovery and Liberty parents.

“During middle schools years, parents often feel disconnected from the school,” Griffith said. “We wanted to invite parents into the school for a luncheon. We hope to inform parents about the rise of prescription drug abuse while providing a welcoming environment.”

“After marijuana, the use of over-the-counter and prescriptions drugs accounts for the most commonly abused drugs by teens 12 year and older,” Griffith said. “As parents, we worry about marijuana and alcohol, but how often do we think of what’s in our medicine cabinet or their friends’?”

Griffith believes the lunches are a good venue for parents of fifth- and sixth-graders “to check out the middle schools and receive information. High school parents will benefit greatly from Detective Reaves’ information.”

Reaves earned a degree in criminal justice at Columbia College. More than 20 years, he has worked as a police officer with the U.S. Army and Huntsville and Madison police departments. For about five years, he worked as a narcotics detective with Madison County Sheriff’s Department.

Parents can bring their lunch, or buy a $10 boxed lunch from Lenny’s Sub Shop (turkey or ham sandwich, chips, cookie and water or Coke product).

Parents should pre-register by Oct. 22 by sending email to madisoncitypta@gmail.com.

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