Alcohol and drug prevention was the topic at a community forum in San Marcos on Tuesday, June 3, 2014 where almost 200 Spanish speaking parents gathered at San Marcos High School to learn about the issue. A similar presentation to English speaking parents at San Elijo Middle School was postponed to the fall due to the recent fires.
Dr. Beatriz Villarreal from Mano a Mano Foundation was the keynote speaker and did a dynamic job engaging parents for almost two hours. Child care was provided to almost 50 children who will be the future leaders of San Marcos.
Dr. Villarreal started her presentation by creating awareness and sharing local statistics of drug and alcohol use among youth and related consequences like DUI’s, unwanted pregnancy, mental health problems, and poor academic achievement. As part of her presentation she set-up a table displaying drug paraphernalia to show parents how some youth disguise drug use with items like a soda can or a pen. She also talked about the importance of family values, communicating very effectively to the diverse audience utilizing anecdotes and examples Spanish speaking and immigrant parents can relate to.
The presentation was organized by San Marcos Prevention Coalition in collaboration with the San Marcos Unified School District. The mission of the San Marcos Prevention Coalition is to reduce youth alcohol and drug use and advocate for safe and healthy neighborhoods by improving environmental norms and community policies and enhancing efforts to promote and deliver effective substance abuse prevention. The San Marcos Prevention Coalition meets regularly, for exact dates visit their website.