The Arlington Drug Awareness Coalition hopes to give parents the resources to prevent child drug abuse at their upcoming community event on Feb. 12.

The coalition (ADAC) is hosting the “Empowering Parents” to help raise awareness of drug and alcohol abuse in the local community and what parents can do about it.

It is being held from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Byrnes Performing Arts Center at 18825 Crown Ridge Blvd., Arlington.

“I hope the parents leave feeling empowered to be a part of their children’s lives,” said Jessica Ronhaar, chair of ADAC.

She said that sometimes parents feel “lost” or don’t know how to approach drug and alcohol issues, and the event is meant to help parents have a better picture of what they can do.

“This is our new event to help encourage parents to be present in their children’s lives, to know what is going on with them,” said Ronhaar. “Also to know what is happening in regard to drugs in our area."

Arlington Police Officer Stephanie Ambrose will talk about what parents can do, and then a panel discussion with officials from the Arlington Police Department, the Arlington Fire Department, Cocoon House, the Arlington School District and Skagit Regional Health will talk and answer questions form the audience.

“Parents will be able to ask the panel questions, as well to help learn about what they want to know,” said Ronhaar.

ADAC officials hope that this will give parents resources, practical knowledge and expert opinions on how to handle drug abuse issues with children.

An information fair will also be held at the event and will allow parents to get information on healthy youth activities and treatment, and recovery and support services for those dealing with drug abuse issues.

“That will provide a lot of health choice options for parents,” said Ronhaar. “Just to be able to know the different resources that are in the area for parents and anyone going through problems with drugs."

The fair will be open before the “Empowering Parents” talk from 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. and afterward from 7:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The coalition was formed by school officials, police department members and other community members to help raise awareness of the issue of drug abuse and solutions for today.

“ADAC has been working for the past six years now on raising drug awareness about what is going on in this community,” said Ronhaar.

They have held many events throughout the years they have been very active.

“These events have helped bring awareness to our community about what the current trends are and how the parents should work to respond to the issues," said Ronhaar.

More information about ADAC is available at their Facebook page at facebook.com/arlingtonaware.

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