By Mary O’KEEFE
Parents who are concerned about the possibility their child may be involved in drugs have an outlet where they can discuss their concern with other parents and Pam Erdman, a family counselor.
The parent awareness meetings were born out of the Drug and Alcohol Prevention Council, a grass roots community driven organization. The council began as a way to help parents who want to help their child through a difficult time of drug addiction.
During a recent seminar at Crescenta Valley High School over 150 parents filled the cafeteria to listen to Pam Erdman discuss family issues. A few weeks later another 120 attended a second Erdman lecture. Principal Linda Evans attended these seminars as well as the drug council meetings.
She applied and was awarded a grant which made it possible for a more personal counseling session with parents in need. The meetings are located at Crescenta Cañada YMCA at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays.
“I think the meetings are clearly helping parents,” said Susan Dubin, a member of the drug council’s executive board. The meetings are designed to be more intimate than the lectures at the school. Parents share their concerns about drugs in the community and their child’s involvement with alcohol and drugs.
“But this is for all parents of a teenager even if they aren’t using drugs,” Dubin said. She added that many parents are concerned about what their children are facing at school and with friends outside of school.
In a recent meeting one parent said that her teen had told her that drugs are commonplace among her Crescenta Valley peers.
“The parents identify with Pam. They know her from the school meetings and have a comfort level with her,” Dubin said.
Parents are also helped by other parents who may have already gone through the process of dealing with a drug or alcohol issue with their child.
“I think we give the parents some solid ideas on how to help their child,” Dubin
One of the council’s goals is to educate parents and kids about drugs and alcohol use in teens.
“We plan to eventually have parent education [seminars] throughout Crescenta Valley,” said Glendale Officer Matt Zakarian, a member of the council’s executive board.
The council plans to involve the community in the process of education and outreach.
Local churches and Verdugo Hills Hospital are just some of the community organizations that have stepped up to help.
Crescenta Cañada YMCA was one of the first to open its doors and offer its expertise in support of the council.
“We want to involve the entire community,” Zakarian
The next meeting for the Drug and Alcohol Prevention Council is at 7 p.m. on Jan. 28 at CVHS teacher’s lounge. The community is encouraged to come. The next parent awareness counseling meeting with Pam Erdman is 7 p.m. on Dec. 15 at the YMCA.