Being a father myself I know there are a lot of pressures kids are facing these days, many more than when I was young. Just thinking about what your children are exposed to can be daunting, stressful and keep you awake at night worrying.
What is top of mind for many parents is the recent spike in heroin or opioid overdoses in the past few months. It is a problem not only here, but in cities across the country. It is also a problem that the City has proactively addressed for years. Back in 2011 we launched the Heroin Kills campaign to raise awareness about this devastating problem and to help stop heroin from destroying more local families. The goal was to warn at-risk youth and to educate parents, many of whom were completely unaware of the heroin problem in Santa Clarita and some found out only after it was too late. I urge you to take the time to familiarize yourself with the signs of possible drug use by attending the DFY in SCV Parent Resource Symposium on Wednesday, September 13 with the resource fair starting at 6 p.m. and the panel discussion starting at 6:30 p.m. at The Centre. There are also many resources available here in the Santa Clarita Valley. Please visit dfyinscv.com/Parents for information that could be life-saving.
The City is also reaching out to students in our local schools through the DFY in SCV (Drug Free Youth in Santa Clarita Valley) program, formerly known as DFYIT. It is a free, school-based, voluntary, anti-drug club for junior high and high school students, and coming this fall it will also be in elementary schools. In DFY in SCV, teens thrive, drug-free, in a club run by students, for their peers. The club provides a positive network that supports good choices, leadership, and a drug-free lifestyle. You can learn more about this important program at dfyinscv.com.
Part of the DFY in SCV program also focuses on making good choices, one of which is not to drive distracted. New drivers are already unfamiliar with the roads and are not as skilled at defensive driving. Combine that with a cell phone, snack, radio, friend in the car…and you’ve got a potential for disaster. Talk with your teen drivers about the importance of focusing behind the wheel and pre-register for the Dare to Prepare workshop on Saturday, August 19 at AAA.com/Safety4Teens. As more drivers are quickly realizing, our motor deputies are also making sure people put their phones down while driving. Even when stopped at a red light, you can still get a ticket. For more safe driving tips, please visit Santa-Clarita.com/DriveFocusLive.
These long summer days are for enjoying our beautiful City with family and friends. Let’s make sure we are all doing it safely and making sure our future generations have the knowledge and resources to make good choices. As parents that is our most important job.
As former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop said, “life affords no greater responsibility, no greater privilege, than the raising of the next generation.”