PADUCAH, Ky -
Your kids are out of class, and if you haven't already heard them complain of boredom, it may be coming soon.
While you're finding ways to entertain them, are you going the extra mile to make sure they're staying out of trouble?
Samuel Hawkins, Club Director says that his most important job is, "being a positive role model for the kids at the Oscar Cross Boys and Girls Club.
The transition to high school can be tough, and teen Tyran Fitzgerald says it was a struggle at first, "but you get used to it cause it's so different from middle school.
Tyran Fitzgerald has already learned some of the most important lessons taught at the boys and girls club, "don't do drugs, that's a big deal everyone teaches you that... well hopefully," he says.
But drugs aren't only found in the streets. They can be found in almost any convenience store.
Dr. Kathryn Glass, a General Practitioner with Mercy Primary Care says that, "Kentucky has the highest death rate in the nation for substance abuse." And unfortunately our children are not exempt from the statistic.
Your kids have access to social media, the internet, YouTube. A YouTube video called 'Beezin' has more than 288,000 hits on YouTube. It talks about the trend of Beezin', using a type of lipbalm to stay awake.
Your kids probably ask for energy drinks, and when mixed with cough syrup it turns into a potent drink that gives the feeling of being drunk. Dr. Glass says, "there are so many things like that that so many people have come up with, those combination cocktails."
Other things teens are using to get drunk? Not just liquor and beer, but mouthwash and vanilla extract.
Even nitrous oxide, the same laughing gas you might find at a dentist office is found in whip cream cans. Kids can huff this gas to get high. "That's what's so difficult is kids are learning from other kids and the parents have no idea what's coming their way, and I think they're always three steps ahead of us as providers and as far as law enforcement."
If you think your teen may be using, your kid may not be "acting straight, there's a big personality change all of a sudden, weight changes either up or down could be an issue, dilated pupils."
So education is important, but also open communication. Kids need adults who are informed about what kids are doing, and are open to talking about it.
Hawkins says the most important thing in being a mentor to kids is, "being honest with them, and definitely having that open dialogue with them ready."
As for Tyran, he knows about the latest trends, but doesn't have a problem says 'no', "I do hear about (drug use), and have people try and convince me to do it, but that's not something I'm interested in at all."
100 Television Lane
Paducah, KY 42003