Iowa Department of Public Safety
215 East 7th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319

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For immediate release: Alex Murphy
  DNE Public Information Officer
Investigative Operations
Iowa Department of Public Safety
Thursday, March 4, 2010
(515) 443-3014 - cell
(515) 725-6189 - office


Five Minutes Today Could Save Your Child Five Years From Now

Des Moines, IOWA --- "The users are getting younger and younger and so are the dealers.”  This is just one comment from a Division of Narcotics Enforcement (DNE) agent.  The DNE agents work undercover day in and day out, trying to get drugs off our streets and away from our children.  But what happens when the dealers and users are the children?

Each year in the state of Iowa, more than 1,200 of the roughly 9,700 Iowans arrested for possession or use of an illegal drug or narcotic are juveniles.  In addition, juveniles accounted for more than 2,000 of the roughly 9,000 annual liquor law violation arrests.  These numbers may seem high, but compared to the number of juveniles actually using drugs and alcohol illegally, law enforcement are likely only catching a fraction.

DNE Director Kevin Frampton commented, “The statistics tell us high school age students are using drugs and alcohol illegally.  When a statewide survey was conducted in 2008, 27% of Iowa 11th graders admitted to binge drinking within the last 30 days.  Twenty-seven percent of 11th graders also admitted to trying marijuana, with 13% admitting to currently using marijuana.  Don’t let state narcotics agents be the first people to have a serious conversation with your kid about drugs and alcohol.”

This month DNE is reaching out to parents across Iowa, encouraging them to talk to their kids and teens about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.  Approaching the subject may seem uncomfortable, but there are many things you can say to assure your child that drugs aren’t the solution to their problems or a way to fit in.  And there are lots of resources to help parents make a convincing argument about the detrimental effects of drugs and alcohol on the brain and body.  Take it from the DNE agents, if you “Take 5” on March 5th, you could save your child 5 years from now.

Follow this link to find a great list of publications from the US Department of Health and Human Services for families to use when promoting healthy lifestyles and abstinence from drugs and alcohol.


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