Dublin Villager

Adolescents and Community Together Coalition

Tyler's Light officials to speak about substance abuse

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The experience of a Pickerington family could serve as a lesson to Dublin residents.

Tyler's Light will come to Coffman High School for a community presentation at 7 p.m. Oct. 30, thanks to a partnership between the Pickerington-based organization, Dublin City Schools and the Dublin Adolescents and Community Together Coalition.

Tyler's Light was formed by Wayne and Christy Campbell after their son Tyler died from a drug overdose in 2011. The 2007 Pickerington High School graduate became addicted to painkillers after a sports injury in college.

The Dublin event came about after the school district decided to bring Tyler's Light representatives in to talk to coaches and club advisers as a part of annual training, said Jaime Burke, Dublin ACT Coalition coordinator.

"Last year we partnered with (the district) to bring in Operation Street Smart from the Franklin County Sheriff's office," Burke said.

"This year they were bringing in something not only on prescription drug abuse and misuse and prevention, but substance abuse in general."

Dublin coaches and club advisers will start training at 6 p.m. Oct. 30 and then join the community at 7 p.m. for the Tyler's Light presentation.

"Dublin City Schools thought this would be a nice partnership instead of just keeping it to themselves," Burke said.

The presentation, Burke said, should educate Dublin parents on a problem within their own community.

"What is interesting to us and what we're excited to hear is it's a real parent who went through something and now they have information to pass along," Burke said.

"This is such a new issue. We're hearing about it more and more, but to wrap our minds around that prescription drugs are being taken from our homes by people we know and love, that's hard to accept. But it's real and something that happened to a local person."

According to an anonymous survey taken by Dublin 8th-, 10th- and 12th-graders in 2011, prescription drug abuse was on the rise.

In the survey, 6 percent of seniors reported using someone else's prescription drugs regularly and 5.11 percent of 10th-graders reported similar behavior, Burke said.

"This is a way to get the conversation started," she said, adding parents might want to discuss securing prescription drugs at home.

"We want to make sure folks in Dublin know this could happen anywhere with any kind of person," Burke said.

The knowledge gleaned at the Oct. 30 meeting that is free and open to the public could be utilized on the Nov. 6 Family Night the Dublin ACT Coalition is coordinating with several groups.

Dublin businesses will have family deals and the Dublin Community Recreation Center will host an open gym to encourage families to spend an evening together.

"It's about the importance of connecting as a family," Burke said.

An evening with the family could also mean a chance to discuss the dangers of prescription drug abuse and misuse.

"This isn't just for high school," Burke said.

"This is a message that runs the gamut. You have to talk early and you have to talk often," Burke said.

"They can be talking about this during family night. The community wants to support you and make it easier for you to slow down and have some time together."

For more information about the Oct. 30 Tyler's Light event or Family Night, look online at dublinact.org.

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