ST. LOUIS - Preventing addiction before it starts; that's the focus of the "Talk About It" campaign launching this weekend.
The NCADA is relentless when it comes to spreading the word about preventing substance use disorder. Since 201 Super Bowl fans have watched their Ads during the big game. This year the message is "simply talk." Nichole Dawsey, Director of Prevention Services for NCADA St. Louis, describes it as a public health education campaign.
“We know that this thing called substance abuse disorders, addiction, is entirely preventable," she said. "The Talk About It campaign is intervening early and often, upstream. Beginning in kindergarten, having those conversations with kids.”
Some parents need help with this conversation, according to Dawsey.
“Many times, parents and grownups will put their heads under the sand because they don`t want to talk about it. They don't know how," she said.
Augustine Hauser, 17, said he's never had a problem talking to his parents about anything. But he knows that's not the case with every family.
“Parents may be uncomfortable talking to their kids. They like to shelter their kids a little bit. And hide them from the real world," he said.
But Augustine’s mom, Lina, said she wants to be the one who talks to him about risky behavior.
“I'm always asking questions. Whether he likes it or not, they are going to be asked. I ask about his friends. I ask about his friends' lives and what are the situations going on in school," Lina Chavez Hauser said.
Depending on the age of the child, parents will find age-specific toolkits on the NCADA website.
“We give parents and adults the concrete tips on the when, the how, the what to say, the what not to say. how to really engage them with age-appropriate examples," Dawsey said.
NCADA reports the potential for misuse of alcohol and other drugs is reduced fifty percent when teens and parents talk openly. When traveling around St. Louis the public is encouraged to look for unique conversation starters. You will see gigantic pill bottles in high traffic areas. Look for them in Pagedale, St. Charles County, Franklin County, the St. Louis Riverfront and Forest Park.
The NCADA launches the full campaign on "Talk About It Community Day" Saturday, April 14 in Tower Grove Park. For details: talkaboutitstl.com