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Frederick County Community Continues Fight Against Drug Abuse

“There's no hard and fast handout or sheet you can give somebody and say this is what you need to look for, sure there are some red flags and some warning signs and some things but the best thing parents can be doing is talking to their kids. Regular communications to their kids about what's going on,” said Brett Stark, Curriculum Director at FCPS.

FREDERICK, Md. - The Frederick County community is continuing their fight against drug abuse. This week, schools and county agencies worked together to raise awareness about the realities of student drug use and how to combat it.

So far in 2014, there have been 40 incidents of drug use, possession and distribution at the high school level in Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS).

School officials are working directly with the Sheriff's Office and Health Department to discuss trends of student drug usage and then informing students and parents about those realities

“What we're trying to do is make sure our kids have those skills to go out, you know, they're a party, it's the weekend, oh here's such and such, here's molly, here's crocodile. Well, wait a second what is that are they taking the time to take a step back to see what is that, how does that impact me, how does that impact my life,” said Brian Griffith, Specialist for Secondary Physical Education at FCPS.

“There's no hard and fast handout or sheet you can give somebody and say this is what you need to look for, sure there are some red flags and some warning signs and some things but the best thing parents can be doing is talking to their kids. Regular communications to their kids about what's going on,” said Brett Stark, Curriculum Director at FCPS.  

At the Health Department’s Adolescent Clubhouse, students are participated in National Drug Facts Week to promote living a drug free life.

“Know that this is a serious matter and drugs can really change your life for the bad, damage families, it can damage your friendships,” said Travis Smotherman, On the Mark Clubhouse mentor.

And to combat student drug abuse, teachers say it has to become a community conversation.

“If they have the schools providing those messages, you have the home providing those messages, and the community providing those messages now you have all three of those areas hitting that child,” said Griffith.

Teachers say declining school work, abrupt changes in friends and behavior can be warning signs for student drug usage. They also suggest parents call 211 for Maryland to connect to health and human service resources in the community 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

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