By Cindy Filipenko
When one person in a family has a problem with drugs or alcohol, the whole family is affected. Understanding that the best treatment is prevention, the Winds of Change Steering Committee has joined forces with the Joint Drug and Alcohol Task Force to produce two events around Drug and Alcohol Awareness Week.
The last official public events this year for the Winds of Change Steering Committee, the Drug and Alcohol Awareness Nights are being held in both Pemberton and Mt. Currie.
“Drugs and alcohol can affect a family at any time and it’s good to be prepared ahead of time. It’s good to have the resources in front of you. Both of these nights will be a great places to get information,” said Carrie Terchinetz, co-organizer of the events.
The Pemberton evening will be held at the Pemberton Community Centre, Saturday, Nov. 18 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. The program includes guest speakers targeting all ages. Geoff Pross, coordinator of the Pemberton Youth Centre and a local youth worker, will be leading a discussion about the impacts of marijuana use for teens. Richard Tran from the Needle Exchange Program will be discussing addiction issues with adults and local high school students will be producing a puppet show for younger children.
The same program will be offered in Mt. Currie at Xit’olacw Community School on Thurs., Nov. 23, but the event will start at 5 p.m. with a community dinner.
Terchinetz is excited about the potential the targeted programming will have.
“We think it’s essential that we have programming suitable for every member of the family, so people will have a place to start the discussions once they get home,” she said.
The events will also see the unveiling of the Winds of Change Steering Committee’s drug and alcohol awareness posters that feature local youth from both communities.
“We’ve found a dozen young people who are committed to leading healthy lives. These young people, from elementary school to post-secondary students, all have the potential to be powerful role models in their communities.”
The kids featured on the posters were nominated by their teachers at Signal Hill Elementary School, Pemberton Secondary School and Xit’olacw Community School.
Both events are free and open to all community members.