ALABASTER, AL (WBRC) - Parents in Shelby County will have an opportunity on Thursday night to learn more about the challenges and dangers facing their children.
Bradford Health Services, Compact 2020 and Shelby County Drug Free Coalition are teaming up for Parent University. The goal is to educate parents about how smartphones and social media can lead to substance abuse.
Compact 2020, an effort to fight the drug epidemic, was launched more than a year ago in Shelby County. According to Alan Miller, the Chief Assistant District Attorney for Shelby County, detectives have seen a trend while investigating adolescent substance abuse.
"Kids are reporting high levels of stress and anxiety, and as a result of that, we're seeing a lot of alcohol use, a lot of marijuana use, but also things like Xanax," said Miller.
Miller blamed smartphones and social media for that increased stress and anxiety among teenagers.
"They don't have the coping skills to deal with the level of anxiety that they are dealing with," said Miller.
Miller said most parents are not aware of the potential dangers facing their children, and he believes Parent University is an opportunity to change that.
"What we want is for every parent to leave there with a much better awareness of the hazards that are involved with the smartphones they put in their child's hands," continued Miller.
Rachel Lawley, with Bradford Health Services, said Parent University is free and open to anyone. Lawley said there will be speakers and different vendors with important information.
The event will be held on Thursday from 5:30-8 p.m. at the old Thompson High School building at 100 Warrior Drive in Alabaster.