"Know the Truth" Program Raises Awareness About Youth Drug, Vaping Use | www.WDIO.com

"Know the Truth" Program Raises Awareness About Youth Drug, Vaping Use

Ryan Juntti
Updated: November 14, 2019 12:31 AM

On Wednesday night, Mn Adult & Teen Challenge brought their "Know the Truth" substance use prevention program to Cherry School. 

The Cherry community came together to help sponsor it, which is meant to raise awareness about drug and vaping use among youth across the state.

One of those who has been affected by drug use is Matt, a program participant at Mn Adult & Teen Challenge.

"Addiction really took hold of my life," said Matt.

And now Matt wants to make sure that doesn't happen to other kids. He shared his story of how addiction has changed his life in front of parents at Cherry School.

"I figured it'd be a good opportunity to give back because addiction has definitely damaged and wreaked havoc in my life," said Matt.

For Matt, the drugs of choice were marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, and eventually heroin. 

One of the main concerns these days is the amount of kids who are vaping.

"It's just such a culture that students are just immersed in," said Know the Truth Education Prevention Manager Sadie Holland.

Holland says one in four kids are reported to be vaping, and that less than 10% of teens are purchasing the devices from a vape or tobacco shop, but are instead getting them from friends or others kids in school.

"It's really important for the parents and community members to be aware of that as well, so they know what to look for, the warning signs, but then also how to help their student if their student is struggling," said Holland.

A student at Cherry School says he hasn't seen kids vape, but has heard of it happening. For parents, the thought of their kids not knowing how dangerous the drugs can be is unsettling.

"The vaping kind of scares me because I feel like there's a lot of things that kids are doing, and they're getting other substances, or other things in their vapes, and they're not even aware of what it is," said Tania Anderson, who has kids at Cherry School.

Officials encourage parents to be vigilant, and to search their kids' backpacks and phones to make sure they aren't hiding anything.


Ryan Juntti

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