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‘Collision Course’ sheds light on teen drug use

Locally made documentary airs on public television
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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A group of local parents wants to get the word out about teen substance abuse on a big scale.

Instead of handing out brochures or relying on their website and classroom presentations, they took a more proactive approach and produced a $125,000 documentary that will air on public television.

“Collision Course: Teen Addiction Epidemic” premieres Wednesday, Oct. 12, on KVIE-6 and replays on three subsequent days, broadcasting to 1.4 million households.

“It’s a huge accomplishment,” said local mom Susan King. “I can’t emphasize how much it’s needed.”

King is a member of Pathway to Prevention, a group of parents from Roseville, Granite Bay and Folsom who formed a nonprofit organization in April 2009 to educate the community about widespread teen drug use and to promote prevention and early intervention.

Many kids, they say, don’t understand the dangers posed by “innocent experimentation.” And sometimes their parents ignore warning signs or look the other way. Teen substance abuse is a “cloistered and closeted” problem, King said.

“We took a look around and could see the devastation of substance abuse on local kids,” she said.

The drug of choice today in Placer County is prescription pills. A national study found that 20 percent of all high school students admit to taking pills that aren’t prescribed for them.

Pathway to Prevention wants parents to know that there are more kids in rehab for pot than for all other drugs combined, and that more teens will die from alcohol-related suicide or homicide or accidents than from any other substance.

“Collision Course” sheds light on these statistics in an effort to create awareness that will change the course of teen addiction in our own backyard.

“A recent study reports that 90 percent of adults who suffer from drug and alcohol addiction began using substances before the age of 18,” said Kim Box, executive director of Pathway to Prevention. “It is critical that we educate teens and their parents about the risks of using substances in adolescence. ‘Collision Course’ is an effort (to) help teens at this critical time in their lives.”

The 30-minute documentary by an Emmy-award-winning production team in Sacramento was filmed over the last year and includes interviews with youth, parents and medical experts. The story of Tiffany is featured, showing a young woman who became addicted to prescription pills.

Pathway to Prevention funded the documentary through grants and donations.

“Awareness and education are the keys to changing behavior,” King said. “Use this documentary to start the conversation with your kids, neighbors, teachers and colleagues. We all fall down when teens abuse drugs or alcohol. Let’s all stand up together to stop teen substance abuse before it starts.”

Sena Christian can be reached at senac@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow her on Twitter at SenaC_RsvPT.

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“Collision Course: Teen Addiction Epidemic”
When:
Premieres at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12. Replays 11:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13; 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14; and 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 16
Channel: KVIE-6 Public Television
Info: www.pathwaytoprevention.org