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Teaching the dangers of drug addiction

It's not always easy for parents to admit they need to learn more about illegal and over-the-counter drugs their children might be tempted to try and later abuse.

It can be even more difficult for some schools to address the issue directly.

That's why we were impressed last week when Watkins Memorial High School in Licking County, hosted 40 parents to discuss the dangers of drug abuse in a very public way.

Unfortunately, it's also been a very public issue for Watkins this school year following the tragic death of 17-year-old senior Chris Miller from a morphine overdose.

We also encourage local schools to follow the Watkins model and do similar seminars here in the Scioto Valley. We all read news stories about today's popular drugs and raves where behavior spins out of control. We also hear about parents surprised to learn about the secret lives their teens were leading.

We believe parents must remain deeply involved in their children's lives if they hope to prevent drug abuse. That responsibility begins with talking to children about the dangers of drugs before someone asks them to try a pill or smoke marijuana.

It means remaining vigilant about where your children go and who they hang out with every day.

It doesn't mean parents must be overbearing or teen-agers can't be trusted.

There are no guarantees in life, but it's safe to say turning a deaf ear to drug abuse increases the chances of a tragic outcome.

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