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Parents mission to keep drug use on the decline in Williston - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Parents mission to keep drug use on the decline in Williston

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WILLISTON, Vt. -

Tuesday night parents in Williston got a lesson in drug use.

School officials say drug use is on the decline, and an effort is underway to keep it that way.

"For me to keep informed about other ways that they can cope, and find out more about what kind of skills they need," Paul Rocheleau said.

Rocheleau says having two teenage daughters of his own, he always likes to try and stay on top of drug use in schools. And a forum at the Williston Central School was focused on just that. 

"Engaging the community, trying to ask the hard questions -- actually, essentially asking the questions period, and then asking the hard questions," said Tim Trevithick, the CVU student assistance counselor.

Trevithick says although drug use among students may actually be on a slight decline, he says it is always important for parents to be willing to talk about the issue. The forum covered a variety of ways for parents to see the signs of drug use, and know what their roles are.

"I think the thing that struck me the most was that he referred to us as first responders -- that we don't have to be experts or brain surgeons or anything, but because parents and teachers and friends of families can be first responders, and to look for what kind of signs are there," said Rocheleau.

Some current students say the problem is there. What is important, one student says, is to look past the facts and figures, and get to the root of the problem.

"We really need to be more aware of what's happening and how teenagers are affected in the long run -- and even in the short run. And how we can become so dependent on something that we never really wanted to be dependent on," said Caty Mara, a CVU senior.

But what was a common theme throughout the evening was regardless of whether or not your child has a drug problem, simply being there is key.

"I think just being there and participating with your kid in life and just not being an absent parent, being present," said Rocheleau.

Forum organizers say the idea of the forum was to just start the conversation. There will be another discussion held in January, where they hope more parents and community members can come be a part of the conversation.

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