Weekly Feature

2005-11-23 / Education

International expert to speak on teenage substance use

Williamsville schools

Statistics show that teenage substance abuse, including alcohol and drugs, is on the rise — nationally, state wide and even locally.

Parents of the new millennium have cause for concern regarding teen behavior, especially in terms of substance use and abuse.

Michael Nerney, an internationally known expert and presenter on the topic of adolescent drug and alcohol use, will be at Williamsville North High School Wednesday, Nov. 30, for a special presentation titled, “Teen Substance Use and Abuse: Partners in Prevention.”

The presentation will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the school’s auditorium.

The presentation is free and open to the public.

The results of past administrations of the Search Institute Survey have revealed a significant change in risk taking behaviors between the eighth and tenth grades.

More specifically, a trend is observed which indicates the number of eighth graders that attend drinking parties or “get drunk” one or more times within a two-week period doubles by the time they are in 10th grade.

Similarly, the use of marijuana is four times greater in tenth grade than in eighth grade.

Nerney, who has more than 24 years experience as a consultant in substance abuse prevention and education, will address these concerns.

Those who attend will:

• Learn about the scope of the problem nationally, statewide and in our own community;

 Explore the underlying reasons for the increase in substance abuse among teens;

 Learn about signs and symptoms of high risk behaviors;

 Explore practical intervention and prevention strategies.

The Williamsville Central School District’s Wellness Council and wellness facilitators are sponsoring the session.

Nerney has served as consultant to many federal and state agencies in several states including New York.

In addition, he has 12 years of classroom teaching and coaching at the junior and senior high school level.

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