Press Release – NEW YORK, NY (November 28, 2016) –This month hundreds of students around the country celebrated the 2nd National Night of Conversation through various HealthCorps programs. Facing Addiction Over Dinner: The National Night of Conversation, was developed by The Dr. Oz Show, Facing Addiction, HealthCorps, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to encourage parents to have an open conversation with their children about alcohol and drugs over dinner.
On November 16, HealthCorps hosted a panel on addiction at Long Beach Polytechnic High School in Long Beach, CA. HealthCorps board member Pedram Salimpour moderated a panel of doctors: Dr. Damon Raskin, an expert on addiction, Dr. Dana Myers, a general surgeon and medical consultant and Dr. Jon Spiers, a cardio thoracic surgeon and medical consultant. Students, parents and teachers from Long Beach Polytechnic High School participated in the panel, asking questions of the panelists.
The panel took place behind a backdrop of sticky notes with anonymous stories gathered from Long Beach Polytechnic High School students about how addiction has affected their lives. HealthCorps coordinators throughout the country participated in the sticky note exercise allowing students a safe place to share their thoughts and experiences with drugs and addiction.
At Memorial High School in West New York, NJ on November 17, HealthCorps Coordinator Kyle Ross led a presentation on prescription drug abuse and its danger to athletes, student council members, student club leaders and their parents. Following the presentation which stressed the importance of family conversation, students and parents were able to ask questions of two substance awareness coordinators.
“A Night of Conversation is a great opportunity for the school and the community to come together to help battle drug addiction. Communication between parents and students is key to preventing students from getting involved with drugs and alcohol,” said Scott Wohlrab, Principal of Memorial High School.
The 2nd National Night of Conversation comes shortly after a HealthCorps poll found that 39% of high school students are influenced the most by their friends when it comes to drugs and alcohol.
The survey of 376 high school students was conducted from October 31 to November 11 as part of HealthCorps’ ongoing assessment of teens’ attitudes and habits towards physical and mental health and wellness. Research shows that children who have dinner with their families have a lower risk of drug use. The HealthCorps poll found that 35% of students are less likely to consume drugs or alcohol after speaking with a parent.
Since 2003, HealthCorps has reached 1,840,000 teens. HealthCorps polls its current students on a biweekly basis.