Ionia County Hosts Town Hall to Discuss Youth Substance Abuse

May 8th, 2024 Safety & Education
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A town hall meeting is scheduled in Ionia County to address concerns regarding underage drinking, vaping, and cannabis use among the youth. The event will take place from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Friday, May 17th, at the Ionia Armory Community Center located at 439 W. Main St.

Organized by the Ionia County Health Department in conjunction with the Ionia County Substance Abuse Initiative Coalition, this adults-only gathering aims to enhance awareness and foster community involvement in tackling substance abuse issues. Charlean Hemminger, the coalition's coordinator and a health educator at the Ionia County Health Department, highlighted the town hall's support from state and federal grants, including the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Drug-Free Communities Grant.

Matthew VanCamp, who joined the Ionia County Health Department as the Drug-Free Communities Grant Coordinator earlier this year, emphasized the significance of the event for parents. He noted that the town hall offers an excellent platform for parents to learn effective communication strategies with their children concerning alcohol, nicotine, and vaping.

The keynote speaker, Cara Ludlow, assistant director of wellness and counseling services at the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Michigan State University, will address the challenges faced by children today and the importance of parental engagement in their lives.

Attendees who participate in a survey at the event will be rewarded with a voucher for the Taqueria El Azteca food truck or a gift card to a local restaurant, highlighting the importance of community feedback in such initiatives.

Through this event, organizers aim to galvanize community efforts to reduce substance abuse among the county's youth by empowering parents and providing access to community resources.

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