Editorial: Staying ahead of trends

Keeping up with emerging drug trends requires constant vigilance, and while the topics may change at the county's annual substance abuse program, the problem of drug abuse continues.
We're not alone, of course. Prescription drug abuse has been a rising issue in recent years here and across the nation. Likewise, synthetic drug use continues to climb, even as more and more states take action to ban the substances.
The constant battle and ever-shifting trends are just two of the reasons why parents, educators and others should plan to attend tonight's program at the Carroll Arts Center. Each year the Health Department puts on the Substance Abuse Awareness Program.
This year's presentation is titled "Emerging Trends: Prescription, Heroin and Synthetic Drugs."
Informational booths will be set up, and refreshments will be served at 5:30 p.m., prior to the 6 p.m. start of the program. A key portion of the evening will be devoted to screening and discussing a short film on the consequences of parents hosting parties where alcohol and minors are involved.
The national Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration tasked each state with creating a film. Local improvisational group FoolProof worked with some Bowie State University students in putting the film together.
The evening will also feature Ken Dickinson, a registered pharmacist who will speak about addiction and behavioral health.
Dickinson will discuss prescription drugs, heroin and synthetic drugs.
The annual event is a good way for residents to get information about emerging trends in drug abuse.
Every year, it seems, we make progress in tackling one emerging drug trend, only to see it quickly replaced by another. Keeping up with the trends, as well as getting information about the consequences of their use, helps us in our efforts to reduce drug abuse.
Education and awareness efforts are key. Parents need to take the time to learn about these trends and make sure that they are talking to their children about making good choices.
The annual presentation is a good way to stay up on emerging drug trends in our community.

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