The 9th Annual NC Parent Resource Center Conference, “Mobilizing to Fight Back: Harnessing the Power of Parents, Youth, and Providers”, was held May 14 – 15 at the Doubletree by Hilton Raleigh-Brownstone-University Hotel. The conference was presented by the NC Parent Resource Center at Families in Action in collaboration with the State’s Centers for Prevention Resources, the North Carolina Coalition Initiative, and the NC Department of Health and Human Services.
The opening session began with Dr. Janice Petersen, Director of The Office of Prevention, Division of MH/DD/SAS, sharing information regarding SAMHSA’s underage drinking prevention PSA campaign, “Talk. They Hear You.” Keynote speaker, Milton Creagh, addressed the importance of parent involvement in preventing adolescent substance abuse. Attorney General Roy Cooper made remarks regarding prescription drug abuse and the “Stop Rx Abuse” video competition.
Day two of the conference was North Carolina’s first ever, Marijuana Prevention Summit. This summit provided attendees with practical information to help arm them in the battle against marijuana legalization in the state of North Carolina. Presenters included representatives from Colorado and California who were able to share from their personal experience as marijuana has been legalized in their own states. Speakers included Christian Thurstone, M.D. of Denver Health and Hospital Authority’s Substance Treatment Education and Prevention (STEP) program, Dr. Allyn Howlett of Wake Forest University, Dr. Jenny Wiley of Research Triangle Institute, John Redman the Director of Demand Reduction for California’s High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas, and Christine Tatum of Media Salad. Topics addressed were the science of marijuana abuse and its effects on brain development, medical marijuana, synthetic marijuana, marijuana policy, and marijuana in the media.
Additional conference speakers were present from Zone Health, 4-H, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, and the University of North Carolina of Greensboro.
The conference attracted over 170 substance abuse prevention and treatment professionals, parents, and volunteers from across North Carolina. The Parent Resource Center at Families in Action presented its annual “Sticking Your Neck Out for the Kids” award to Milton Creagh for his continued efforts to protect youth from substance abuse and its harmful effect.