New Oak Park and River Forest ordinances that could have an impact on teen alcohol and drug use will be the focus of a forum from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24 at the 19th Century Club in Oak Park.
The event, sponsored by law enforcement and youth agencies, also will present results of the 2012 Illinois Youth Survey taken by middle school and high school students in Oak Park and River Forest.
The 19th Century Club is at 178 Forest Ave. The event is free and open to the public.
This effort is important, says one forum organizer, because it will be invaluable information for parents - and their children - to have.
"The new rules will focus more on rehabilitation (including) education and therapy," said Kristine Raino-Ogden, with I.M.P.A.C.T, a grassroots group that raises awareness about the short and long term consequences of adolescent substance abuse. "They are focusing on behavior, not consequences."
Changes over the past year include:
- River Forest in April 2011 passed a new social hosting law and expanded its adjudication process to hear cases locally. I.M.P.A.C.T. played a role in adopting these new rules.
- In June 2012, Oak Park passed a series of new local ordinances on teen smoking, alcohol and marijuana use that carry less punitive and more rehabilitative consequences. I.M.P.A.C.T. played a role in getting these rules adopted as well.
Health care experts will discuss new research and the new realities of adolescent drug and alcohol use. Sr. Michelle Germanson, President of Trinity High School describe how the community take part. And John Williams, Director of Youth Services of Oak Park and River Forest, will put in context the 2012 IYS results.
The purpose of the forum is to inform the community about the new realities of teen drug and alcohol use and to encourage new approaches to solving the problem.
“In order to change the behavior of our teens, we need to change attitudes. Not just among our kids, but among the adults of the community as well. The stresses, the drugs and the environment our kids experience are very different than what we as adults experienced. This is a new reality and requires a new response,” Raino-Ogden said.
Get breaking news alerts and follow us on Facebook for more news: