Panel Takes Aim At Kids' Addictions

Panel Takes Aim At Kids' Addictions
Posted by FoM on November 30, 1999 at 08:16:17 PT
By Ellyce Field, Special to The Detroit News
Source: The Detroit News
If parents recognize that their teen-agers are experimenting with marijuana or alcohol, should they be concerned? "Absolutely," says Dr. Jay Kutinsky, associate medical director for the chemical dependency unit at St. John Hospital, Detroit. 
Kutinsky will join author Jerry Stanecki, Bloomfield Hills District Judge Kim Small, social worker Mona Shane and West Bloomfield High School Assistant Principal Al Dicken in a panel discussion about addictions at Temple Israel in West Bloomfield Township Thursday evening.   The event is designed to help parents understand the warning signs of drug and alcohol use and the effects of abusive or addictive behaviors toward food, gambling, shopping or Internet use.   When it comes to alcohol and drugs, Kutinsky encourages parents to give their teens a clear message of zero tolerance and act as role models.   "Marijuana is illegal, and it's still considered a 'gateway drug,' " he says. "A user might decide the marijuana isn't giving him a high and try something else. Alcohol is harmful, and with heavy use a person could cross the line into addiction."   Kutinsky urges parents to monitor their children.   "Often parents are the last people to recognize their children are substance abusers," he says. "But these are the classic warning signs: frequent tardiness or absence from school, dropping grades, changed appearance and a change in friends."   Ellyce Field's "Kids Catalog of Michigan Adventures -- Third Edition" lists more than 2,300 sites and activities. Published: November 30, 1999 Copyright 1999, The Detroit News
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