KNOW THE TRUTH: A FIRST STEP ON THE PATH TO PREVENTION
For the second year in a row, “Know the Truth,” the prevention program of Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge in the Twin Cities, brought its message about drug and alcohol use and abuse to Hudson — both to students and their families.
In what was billed as “a new alliance to prevent addiction” the drug prevention program in Minneapolis, has partnered with the Hudson School District and St. Croix County to hold a public forum, St. Croix County Cares, at Hudson High School last week.
Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge operates a range of services for both shorter and long-term treatment programs for drug and alcohol addiction. “Know the Truth” operates throughout the region, reaching as many as 50,000 middle and high school students annually, along with parents and community members, including Hudson Middle School and Hudson High School students through their health classes.
The public forum includes stories from those who have lived through addiction is part of a Know the Truth visit to the community. This year Karen Hale told her story, one that is familiar to many in Hudson. Hale’s daughter, Alysa Ivy, HHS Class of 2010, was just 21 when she died of a drug overdose in May 2013. Since that time, Hale has learned as much as she can about the disease that took her daughter’s life. She tells Alysa’s story and that of the other addicts and families she has come to know in hopes of preventing another mother or child from her family’s experience. She said prescription drugs were a gateway to heroin for Alysa and many of the other addicts she has come to know.
Hale said addiction raises havoc with every aspect of not just the addict’s life, but that of the entire family. “This is a disease that wants to kill. It is not a matter of if you will die of it, it is a matter of when,” said Hale. “I have also seen those who have embraced sobriety and have turned their lives around but not enough of them. That’s why I tell my story.”
Taylor, 24, who works with Know the Truth, told her story. The tall, attractive blonde said her trouble started with her parent’s contentious divorce when she was in elementary school. Insecurities and a desire to find acceptance led to her trying alcohol when she was 15 that led her to addiction and time in to prison.
From the outside, the honour student and cheerleader, looked the part of a healthy, well-adjusted teenager, until she didn’t. She said the worst consequence of her addiction was the loss of her freedom and going to prison. She said the greatest help she got came of “Teen Challenge” and the love and support of her family. Today she is employed by Know the Truth and has a career working to prevent others from her experience.
Taylor, who has been sober for two years, believes her mother wanted to help her but didn’t know how. She wished her mother had tried a little bit harder to find out what was going on in her life. Her advice for the parents in the audience was simple. “Take time to be involved with your kids no matter how busy you get. And don’t enable them.”
Adam Pederson is Know the Truth’s program director. He said a family history of addiction or abuse, neglect or a traumatic childhood experience put a child at greater risk. He gave parents some things to look for that might be signs of trouble including:
—increased borrowing of money
—changes in school work, absences and truancy, declining grades
—increased secrecy about possessions or activities
—use of incense, room deodorant or perfume to hide odors
—changes in conversation with friends – talking in code.
—missing prescription drugs, narcotics and mood stabilizers
—presence of eye drops to mask blood-shot eyes.
Source: http://www.rivertowns.net/news/crime-and-courts 31st March 2015