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Barnstable County Regional Substance Use Council to Host 3rd Annual Parent Summit on Substance Use

For Immediate Release: Barnstable County Regional Substance Use Council to Host 3rd Annual Parent Summit on Substance Use

Barnstable County Department of Human Services

Spotlight on vaping and how anxiety and depression play key role in substance use

BARNSTABLE, MA. (April 29, 2019) – The Barnstable County Regional Substance Use Council will host its 3rd Annual Parent Summit to provide parents and caregivers with the practical know-how to steer their children away from the dangers of substance use.

This year’s theme, “My Choice Matters: Parenting to Prevent Substance Use,” will shine a spotlight on the emergence of vaping and explore how anxiety and depression can push pre-teens and teenagers to experiment with drugs, alcohol and tobacco.

The summit, which begins at 12 noon on May 19 at the Cape Codder Resort and Spa, 1225 Iyannough Rd., Hyannis, will feature nationally-recognized relationship and family expert Lynne Griffin as the keynote speaker. There is no charge for admission, although pre-registration is required (see link below).
Griffin is the author of three novels and the nonfiction guides Let’s Talk About It: Adolescent Mental Health and Negotiation Generation: Take Back Your Parental Authority Without Punishment. Her talk will address “Vulnerable Children: What Parents Need to Know About Anxiety, Depression and Substance Use.”

Following Griffin’s presentation, Stacey Schakel, a Registered Nurse and Nurse Coordinator with the Mashpee School District, will take to the podium to provide summit attendees with a front-line look at the prevalence of vaping among students, how electronic smoking devices make it more difficult to detect if a child is smoking tobacco or marijuana, as well as practical tips on how parents and caregivers can intervene.

“Substance use is something all parents are concerned about. This summit is designed to go beyond raising awareness. We want to not only provide parents and caregivers with up-to-date information on what’s out there, but also arm them with practical tips and resources,” says Kim Slade, summit organizer and Barnstable County Department of Human Services Substance Use Program Manager.
Slade noted that while some may be predisposed to addiction, it’s important that substance use disorders not be considered a predetermined outcome, or overlook the fact that the choices young people and their families make can empower them to avoid substance use altogether regardless of their background or circumstances.

“Well-informed decision-making is a central part of the equation,” Slade says. “When it comes to substance use, choice matters, as parents and as community members. And knowing that ‘Choice Matters,’ we are empowered to make decisions that have a positive impact on our lives and the lives of those around us.”
Online pre-registration for the summit is required at

Free child care is also being offered for summit attendees who bring children but must be reserved during the registration process.

The summit agenda is as follows:
12:00pm – 12:30 pm Registration and Meet with Local Experts
12:30pm – 12:45pm Welcome and Introductions
12:45pm – 2:00pm Keynote Lynne Griffin – Vulnerable Children: What Parents Need to Know About Anxiety, Depression, and Substance Use
2:00pm – 2:15pm Break and Snack
2:15pm – 3:00pm Vaping: What Every Parent Needs to Know
3:00pm – 3:30pm Wrap up and Resources

Contact: Sean Gonsalves

About the Regional Substance Use Council:
The Regional Substance Use Council was organized by the Barnstable County Department of Human Services in 2014 and is comprised of town coalitions, elected officials from the local, state, and federal levels, the Sheriff and District Attorney’s offices, police, first responders, probation, drug court, school nurses, school superintendents, and drug treatment, recovery, and healthcare providers. The Council has work groups focusing on Prevention, Intervention, Treatment and Recovery. The purpose of the Council is to establish a communication infrastructure across towns, providers, organizations, and individuals on Cape Cod that allows the region to identify and address gaps and disparities in the service system, maximize inter-agency collaboration and to maximize funding and resource opportunities. The Council has multi-sector representation from stakeholders and organizations and includes representation from each of the 15 towns on Cape Cod, elected officials, hospital, treatment providers, community health centers, law enforcement, schools, first responders, parents, faith-based, youth, business community, and people in recovery.