The 10th Annual NC Parent Resource Center Conference, “Our Children. Our Communities. Our Future.” held May 13-14 attracted over 170 substance abuse prevention and treatment professionals, parents, and volunteers representing fifty of North Carolina’s counties.
The opening session featured NC Department of Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary for Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, Dave Richard, and Flo Stein, M.P.H., Deputy Director, NC Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services. The conference was pleased to have the opportunity to introduce Sarah Potter, recently appointed as Team Leader for the Community Wellness, Prevention and Health Integration Team (formerly the Early Intervention and Prevention Section) who spoke of her role and her vision for prevention in NC.
Flo Stein was presented the annual “Sticking Your Neck Out for the Kids” award, an award presented annually by the NC Parent Resource Center to an individual or organization who has demonstrated a commitment to strengthening families, protecting children, and making our communities safer. Phil Mooring, Executive Director of Families in Action, Inc., in presenting the award to Stein commented that, “Flo is a true public servant and, coming from a family with a military background has served her well, for she has proved to be a noble and courageous leader in North Carolina’s, and the nation’s, effort to prevent and treat addiction and to see that sufficient supports are in place for those in recovery.”
Plenary speakers included Kym Martin, Executing Director of the NC Center for Safer Schools, and Billy Lassiter, NC Deputy Commissioner for Juvenile Justice, who discussed the NC Center for Safer Schools 2013 Report to the Governor, which includes the NC Parent Resource Center.
Day two of the conference featured former Lieutenant Governor Jim Gardner, now Chairman of the NC ABC Commission, and Jan Pueschel, Director, Council on Underage Drinking of the NC Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission presenting information about the ABC Commission’s new initiative to reduce underage drinking.
NC Attorney General Roy Cooper addressed the conference and presented awards to the three winners of the NC Department of Justice’s 2014 Stop Rx Drug Abuse. Following a viewing of the three winning video entries, Cooper recognized the students and their families, and thanked conference attendees for their “…day in and day out work to prevent substance abuse in North Carolina.”
Also on hand for the second day was Kareemah Abdullah of Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) and Humberto Mercado of the NC Governor’s Highway Safety Program. Nancy Hunter from Asheville shared her very moving story of losing a child due to underage alcohol use.
Additional conference speakers were present from Agape Counseling Associates, NC Department of Justice, Student and Collegiate Recovery Community-NC State University, and Duke Student Wellness Center.
The conference was presented by the NC Parent Resource Center at Families in Action in collaboration with the North Carolina Coalition Initiative, and the NC Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services.
A huge thank you to all conference attendees and to everyone who helped to make this year a success. We look forward to seeing you next year!