Center for Prevention Services to host virtual session about drug use, misuse among county’s youth

Published 10:16 am Tuesday, February 16, 2021

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The Charlotte-based Center for Prevention Services, in partnership with Project Lazarus and Stanly County Schools, will have a virtual town hall from 7-8 p.m. Feb. 23 about drug use and misuse among young people in the county.

The virtual event will briefly touch on the main results of the youth drug survey, conducted in middle and high schools last year, followed by discussions about the signs and symptoms of substance use and available community resources to help mitigate substance use.

Findings of the drug survey was previously shared with the public during a December CPS Zoom session, which revealed that more Stanly County youth admitted to using electronic cigarettes than any other substance.

The speakers for the program will be CPS program manager Neetu Verma, CPS youth coordinator Kaitlin Smith and health educator Wendy Growcock. Several guest speakers will also be present.

Smith has been working to recruit students to help form high school and middle school Teens for Change clubs to¬†educate students about the dangers of drugs and vaping.¬†She’s also engaging with students each week as part of the SPARK after school program at many schools.

“Her main job right now is youth recruitment and engagement and she is trying various mechanisms to attract and excite kids,” Verma said.

Though the event is geared towards students and families associated with North Stanly and South Stanly high schools, Verma said anyone can attend.

Another similar virtual event, focused on families connected with West Stanly and Albemarle high schools, will take place March 23.

Though it’s still under discussion, Verma hopes to have a Spanish translator present during the program.

The event is part of a five-year, $1.25 million Partnership for Success Grant CPS was awarded and that will serve the needs of those in Stanly. The grant will run through Sept. 20, 2024.

In order to register for the event, people should email Smith at Links to the meeting invite will be sent out prior to the event.



About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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