Meeting offers parents information about drugs

By William Thomspon: Quay County Sun

Parents with concerns about their children’s exposure to drugs, will have an opportunity to learn more about how to spot signs of drug use on Thursday.

At some local parents’ requests, Tucumcari High School assistant principal Rex Maddaford invited Cpl. Darrick Shaw of Tucumcari Police to give parents information about youth drug use.

“Some parents told me they don’t know what is going on in their kids’ lives,” Maddaford said. “We all need to be better educated so we can be better parents. We cannot bury our heads.”

Maddaford said Shaw’s presentation will give parents the opportunity to learn how to recognize signs and symptoms of drug use.

“This is an opportunity to ask questions of someone who deals with these problems on a daily basis,” Maddaford said.

Matt Dillman of the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department, said teen drug use contributes significantly to teen crime figures.

“There are thousands of teens statewide who are referred to our probation offices,” Dillman said. “We know that if it weren’t for the illegal use and sale of illegal drugs, that number would be significantly lower.”

Examples of drug paraphernalia and drug test kits will be available at the meeting, Shaw said.

“I’m also trying to line up a guest speaker who is a former drug user,” Shaw said. “Youth drug use is a national problem and Tucumcari is no different than many other communities when it comes to youth drug use.”

Maddaford said any parent who has concerns about drugs is invited to attend the meeting.

When: 7 p.m. Thursday
Where: Tucumcari schools administration building conference room 2400 S. Eighth Street

OCTOBER 2003 SURVEY RESULTS
• A REPRESENTATIVE SURVEY OF 176 QUAY COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS FOUND THAT 30 PERCENT SAID THEY HAD USED MARIJUANA IN THE PAST 30 DAYS
13 PERCENT SAID THEY HAD USED CRYSTAL METH IN THE PAST 30 DAYS.
• IN TUCUMCARI ALONE, 37.9 PERCENT OF STUDENTS SURVEYED SAID THEY HAD BEEN OFFERED DRUGS AT SCHOOL DURING THE PREVIOUS 12 MONTHS.
SOURCE: 2003 NEW MEXICO YOUTH RISK AND RESILIENCY SURVEY CO-SPONSORED BY NEW MEXICO DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, NEW MEXICO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO.