Note: In an effort to highlight the prevention programs that are available in Mifflin County, Mifflin County Communities That Care (CTC) is offering a new series that will focus on one service provider each month. CTC offers this information with the purpose of strengthening our families and community.

Several weeks ago Marlin Conner, from the Mifflin County Correctional Facility, and I were on WMRF and WIEZ to discuss prevention of underage drinking.

We discussed several factors that can cause our kids in Mifflin County to use, increase stressors in their lives, family history of addiction and peer pressure.

Prevention is what we want to do to help stop these things from happening so our kids will not turn to alcohol/drugs, and I believe it starts at home. It is our responsibility, as parents to first understand what prevention really means. It is knowing who your son/daughter is with, where they are and who is going to be there and if there adult supervision.

It can seem difficult at times to do these things but we have to, to keep our kids on track. One way for the Middle School and Elementary schools is to sign the Safe Homes Pledge. (Call Communities that Care at 248 3994 for more information). Another way is to know your kids friends and try to know the families of who your kids are hanging out with. Have these kids come to your home and get to know them. Our kids are right when they say, “you don’t know them” so get to know them.

Other ways we can prevent underage drinking is to educate, educate, educate our kids and ourselves. We are our kid’s first teachers. So what you teach and show by example is what your kid is more likely to do. We also need to spend time with our kids, be involved with them. That means in school, at home and where ever needed. I have always said being a parent means giving up our time to be involved with our kids. We only have a few short years to help them develop into a positive citizen no matter what they do or where they go in their lives.

Communities that Care and many other agencies in Mifflin County are very committed to helping decrease underage drinking and reducing drug use. So we would like all the parents of Mifflin County to jump on the wagon and join forces to help decrease and eliminate the problem to make our communities a better place for us all to live and raise our kids. I am Jill Pecht from Clear Concepts Counseling and our agency is committed to helping the parents and kids of our community. If you have questions fell free to call our office at 242-3070.