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Parents Invited to Free Community Program on Teen Drug Abuse

The Addiction Action Committee will sponsor a free community awareness program on teen substance abuse next Tuesday, April 14 at 7 p.m. at Handley High School's Patsy Cline Auditorium in Winchester.

Will Rushton, MD, emergency physician and toxicologist at Lynchburg General Hospital will offer an eye-opening presentation, “Your Kids Know More Than You Do: Straight Talk for Parents about Teen Drug Use.” Dr. Rushton will share information on current trends in recreational drug abuse and what parents need to be aware of. His presentation is designed for adults only.

Dr. Rushton earned his medical degree from Georgetown University and completed a residency in Emergency Medicine at the University of Virginia, followed by a two-year fellowship in Medical Toxicology, a specialty focusing on diagnosing and treating the intoxicated patient. He has published abstracts and papers and presented at national and international meetings on drug abuse, and speaks regularly to nurses, physicians, school counselors and EMS groups. Dr. Rushton is a member of the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology, American College of Medical Toxicology, and American College of Emergency Physicians.

Through his presentations Dr. Rushton works to close the gap in understanding of drugs of abuse. New trends in toxicology demonstrate that prescription drugs and new synthetic agents are overtaking traditional drugs of abuse, he says. The Internet has unleashed a new source of drugs, providing direct information on how to modify common household products, as well as advice on evading toxicology screens.

The Addiction Action Committee (AAC) is an interdisciplinary group of law enforcement, health, judicial, social service and treatment professionals who are working together to address the heroin and opiate addiction crisis in the Northern Shenandoah Valley, looking at the importance of tackling the problem openly, as a community. Drawing on the expertise of local addiction experts and insight of addict families, the AAC’s outreach committee has launched a rich website, www.roadtorecovery.info; started a family support group, Parents on the Road to Recovery; produced PSAs and video testimonials; and sponsored free community education programs. The Community Forum on Heroin, held March 31, drew more than 120 people to hear from a local recovered addict and learn what’s happening locally.

Tuesday's program is sponsored by the Addiction Action Committee, with financial support from Casey Family Programs. For more information on the AAC and addiction resources in the Northern Shenandoah Valley, visit www.roadtorecovery.info.