Wando High School Improvement Council gives parents advice on fighting, preventing substance abuse

MT. PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - The Wando High School Improvement Council is giving parents advice on how to spot and prevent substance abuse among their children and in the community.

There was a meeting at the high school on Monday night with several panelists from the community.

Cynthia Hart is the Choices 101 Chairperson for the Wando School Improvement Council.

"Five years ago when my students were here at Wando, my children, we just saw a lot of parents who felt like 'I did that when I was in high school so that's okay for kids to do that today' and we realized it's not. Whether it's drinking or smoking pot things have changed dramatically," Hart said.

Parents heard from police officers, the solicitor's office and other outreach program leaders in the community.

"We're trying to be proactive instead of reactive," said Jeff Blankenship, an associate principal at Wando High School.

Parents learned that seeking early prevention is necessary.

They also learned about signs that their children might be on certain types of drugs like red and droopy eyes for marijuana use, nodding and drowsiness with opioid use and wearing long sleeves with heroin use.

Speakers also talked about how some kids hide drugs in common household products like deodorant, tampons and several other items.

Blankenship has a message for students.

"'Everything in life is a choice. The question is can you deal with the repercussions. That was one of my famous quotes I used to say on a Friday before heading out for the weekend when I was a teacher," Blankenship said.

Speakers also talked about how important it is to listen to your children when talking with them and to not only lecture them.

Wando High School officials say they've conducted random student book bag searches a few times so far this school year.

For more information on the event from Monday and to see a list of the panelists visit this site. 

The School Improvement Council has also had speakers talk with students to discourage drug and alcohol use.

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