Mineral Wells Index
By TYLER MASK
Drugs and alcohol have plagued children's lives for what seems like an eternity. Nevertheless, the war on drugs is becoming less one-sided, as more organizations are banding together each day to fight back. One of the most prominent drug awareness organizations is the National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children, of which Palo Pinto County has its own branch through the Texas division of the organization.
This year, Palo Pinto County Alliance for Drug Endangered Children is hosting its third annual “Call to Action Rally,” April 10, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Mineral Wells High School Auditorium. A presentation will be made by Keller ISD Coordinator of Drug and Alcohol Prevention Marcene Weatherall, discussing current trends, what to look for and how to talk to children about drugs and alcohol.
"[Call to Action Rally] is here to educate the public regarding things that are dangerous to children, [including] drugs and alcohol and what happens to children in families where drugs and alcohol are present,” PPCDEC's Marylin Wilson said. “It's to help people open their eyes as to what is going on in the world today. It will be very beneficial because it opens this up to people about what is really going on. Whether it's your home, a friend's home or a family member's home, it could be anyone that is being impacted by drugs or alcohol. It is beneficial for the kids because it shows them where to get help, whether it be for them or their parents living in a bad environment."
Entertainment will be provided by the Mineral Wells High School Choir and the Mineral Wells Junior High Band.
A few perks for students who attend are homework passes and community service hours for those on probation or parole.
Rescue. Defend. Shelter. Support. These are four verbs that define NADEC and each of the state alliances.
In 1993, Sue Webber-Brown and Mitch Brown launched the first official DEC movement. By 1996, the California Governor's Office awarded grants to establish “DEC teams,” which consist of professionals from all sorts of backgrounds to aide in the identification of children living in drug environments. By 2002, 12 states had joined the movement, and the NADEC was born. Although not every state has a DEC just yet, the NADEC considers itself to be an ever growing organization, with hopes to plant its feet in all states.
According to the Texas Alliance DEC website, TADEC was formed to help protect children living in volatile drug environments. Under this covering, Child Protective Services, law enforcement, educators, medical and mental health professionals, and other child advocates are cooperating to protect children from the harms of drugs. TADEC believes:
• All children deserve to be loved, nurtured and provided for in a safe environment.
• Strengthening collaborative efforts among existing community resources is the best way to provide the necessary services and support for children exposed to volatile drug environments.
• Providing education and resources to multidisciplinary professionals increases the effectiveness of comprehensive community responses to drug endangered children.
• Leveraging the full scope of their resources, communities can break the cycle of drug abuse.
For more information on TADEC, contact TADEC at 214-522-8600. To learn more about NADEC, visit www.nationaldec.org.