June 15, 2009 --
The 'Hour of Power', a forum to educate and answer questions from parents and guardians of teens about addiction.
It's part of the Out of the Dark organization's movement to make the community a better place by helping those who are dealing with drugs and alcohol.
Skip Mooney Jr., the founder of the organization, says as a community we need to focus on prevention.
"A new study that just came out shows that in 2005, of the $4 Billion the state spent, only 2% of it went to prevention and treatment for alcohol and drug addiction. We've got to be paying more attention to this, because it's about economics too. For every dollar you spend for prevention, you can save $12 in the other areas such as law enforcement, the homeless, medical costs, economic productivity loss, so there are a lot of facts out there and studies saying you know, why aren't we doing prevention?"
Mooney says the Hour of Power focuses on addiction and the question, "Why are kids getting caught up in this illness and is there anything I can do about it?"
"Kids aren't doing drugs for recreational use anymore. What they are doing drugs for now is to run and hide because of the stress and the pressures that they have on their daily lives. Nobody's been out there really talking to them on a daily basis, about the risks, about addiction, what it does to your family, and those type of issues."
Ashley Boles, with the Craighead County Juvenile Department says it's something parents must get involved in.
"A lot of parents just don't understand the signals and the signs of what to look for. They think, 'it won't be my child, he or she is a good kid.' They may never miss a ball practice, or they may take them to all their games, yet they may never step foot in their room. Parents, you've got to talk to your kids. Say 'this is my house and I am going to go in and inspect your room'...a lot of parents get disillusioned at times and think I have to give my child their space, but the right to privacy is not there!"