• Information night will support families dealing with substance use and addiction

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    Substance use and addiction are confusing and difficult issues for the person experiencing them and for those who love and care about the person who is impacted. To help Portland Public Schools families of students dealing with substance use, we will host our first district-wide Family Information Night.

    When: Thursday, Feb. 27, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
    Where: Grant High School, 2245 NE 36th Ave.

    The evening will include:

    • Community agencies tabling and sharing resources, information and strategies
    • Dinner and childcare
    • A panel discussion
    • Breakout sessions about specific topics

    Interpreters will be available in the district’s five supported languages – Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese, Russian and Somali.

    Addiction is a lot like other diseases, such as heart disease; both can disrupt daily living, but both are treatable and preventable. NIDA, the National Institute of Drug Abuse, defines addiction as a chronic, relapsing brain disease, characterized by repeated use despite harmful consequences. Addiction disrupts lives, families, communities and young people’s educational experience.

    Adolescent use, experimentation and more serious issues are especially confusing because normal adolescent brain development includes pushing boundaries and taking risks.

    Portland Public Schools’ REAHL initiative is a nationally recognized model that supports students to be healthy and gives families tools to help them. To that end, we have our Prevention and Support online Toolkit, which is regularly updated and includes sections with resources specifically for students, families and educators.

    If you have additional questions about the event or toolkit, please contact me at mkrogh@pps.net.

    -Mary Steven-Krogh, District Coordinator of Drug & Alcohol Supports