Officials warn 13 is now the average age youth experiment with drugs
New Beginnings along with Windsor police hosted a forum for parents and caregivers about drug use and its effects on school children Thursday evening.
According to the Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey, one in six students in grades 9 to 12 have a drug problem.
Counsellors and police say awareness is the key to prevention.
Constable Todd Pearce says marijuana is the most popular drug affecting teens. "Marijuana is still illegal. So if they are in possession of an illegal substance they can be arrested."
Alexis McNair has four foster teenaged boys, and says she’s not afraid to go through their belongings. “So they see I’m checking everything. I'm pulling out drawers, I’m turning over mattresses."
Pearce says this exactly what parents should be doing.
He says there are creative ways to hide drugs like a pop bottle which has an added compartment where drugs could be possibly hidden.
Pearce says the bottle can be bought online.
Pearce distributed some illegal drugs to parents to show them what it looks like and to distinguish between marijuana and crack.
A New Beginnings substance abuse counsellor says parents should also be aware of changes in their child’s physical appearance or attitude.
Jennifer Forfitt says if a parent suspects their child is using drugs to call the school and ask for the attendance record.
Forfitt say parents should never assume their child is too young to be exposed to drugs.