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Audrey Schmit, Dr. Harold Urschel, Frances Jones

Parents of Highland Park High School juniors hosted an eye-opening program on November 3, “How to Protect Your Family from Drugs and Alcohol,” presented by Dr. Harold Urschel, MD, MMA, chief medical strategist for Enterhealth, an addiction treatment company.

Two dozen parents attended the Junior Lunch Bunch program at Dunston’s Steakhouse to hear Urschel’s powerful message about the impact of alcohol and drugs on the teenage brain.  Frances Jones and Audrey Schmit co-chaired the event.

Urschel, who is author of the New York Times best seller, “Healing the Addicted Brain”, described addiction and how it affects teens, signs of teen substance abuse, top addictive substances, and the latest scientific treatments for addiction.

“Dr. Urschel is one of the most influential and coveted speakers nationally on substance abuse, and he is well-versed on the most current and effective ways to treat the disease of addiction,” said Jones. “This was an educational opportunity for all of our junior parents, regardless of whether they or their loved ones have been affected by alcohol and drugs.”

“It’s important for parents of high school students to hear Dr. Urschel’s message that the brain is not fully developed until the mid-20s, so alcohol and drug use during the teenage years can cause significant brain injury,” explained David M. Kniffen, Jr., president of Enterhealth.

“According to the National Family Partnership, children of parents who talk to their teens regularly about drugs are 42 percent less likely to use drugs than those who don’t, yet only a quarter of teens report having these conversations,” Kniffen continued. “Enterhealth appreciated the opportunity to share Dr. Urschel’s information and insights with this group of junior parents to encourage more family discussion about drugs and alcohol.”

Photos by Susan Lynch