Prevention for Families

Keep Your Teen Drug-Free :: October '20 Issue

Points Of Interest



  • Halloween During The Pandemic
  • Disposing Of Old Medications
  • Shuksan Prevention Club

Trick or Treat: Halloween During a Pandemic

This Halloween is going to look a little different like many things this year. What will that mean for you and your family? A night in with the family is a great option if you’re spooked by the idea of COVID-coated-candy wrappers. We know that when kids have strong, positive relationships with their parents, they are less likely to use substances. Spending quality time together is a wonderful way to foster that positive relationship, so queue up a scary-movie marathon, get out the pumpkin carving kit, or make your own sweet treats together. If you or your teen is planning to partake in festivities with others, check out the Parent Resource section at the bottom of this newsletter for some ideas on socially distanced Halloween activities. If your teen is planning to go out sans parents, make sure you know who they’re with and what they’re doing. It’s also a good time to talk with your teen about their thoughts and goals around their substance use choices. When teens understand their parents’ expectations and have thought about their personal commitment to saying no to substance use, they make better decisions in the moment.

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How to Dispose of Old Medications

Do you have some old prescriptions haunting your medicine cabinet? Drop them off at our local take-back locations! You will find a link in the Parent Resources at the bottom of this newsletter to the Whatcom County Health Departments Med Return page. Decreasing access is an easy way to prevent teens from using prescriptions that don’t belong to them. While most teens don’t use medications that don’t belong to them, it doesn’t hurt to remove the option. Plus, it’s a good opportunity to declutter! You could also involve your teen in the process and talk with them about how to responsibly use prescriptions and what to do when they’re done with the medication.

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SMS Prevention Club Seeking New Members

Shuksan Middle School has a student-led prevention club that aims to promote mental/physical wellness, healthy choices, and connection. When teens are well and feel connected to their school community, they make better decisions around substance use. Our Prevention Club is looking for new members and is open to all students at SMS. If your student is interested in getting involved, have them contact Mr. Giles through email. They will get an invitation to join the weekly Zoom meeting and participate in prevention discussions and projects. Students will also have the opportunity to attend prevention conferences with clubs across WA state. Previous projects have included decorating bulletin boards around the school, organizing and participating in the Shuksan Family Community Night, and clean-up projects to keep our school clean and safe
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Shuksan Middle School SAP Program

Worried that your teen may be struggling with substance-related issues? The Student Assistance Professional (SAP) Program exists to serve students who may be using substances themselves, are at a higher risk for using substances, or are struggling with family members who use substances. Students can work one-on-one with the Student Assistance Professional or participate in a group with other students with similar experiences. Services are tailored to individual student needs and often include learning coping skills, teaching refusal skills, and learning about the risks of substance use. All referrals and conversations are confidential, and students will not get in trouble for disclosing information to the Student Assistance Professional. (Limitations to confidentiality are suicide plans, reports of abuse, or information about the injury of another person). Referrals can be made by phone or email to Mr. Giles.

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Kelly Giles

Student Assistance Professional (SAP)

Shuksan Middle School

Northwest ESD 189