Being a father myself I know there are a lot of pressures facing kids these days, many more than when I was young. Just thinking about what your children are exposed to can be daunting, stressful and keep you awake at night worrying.
What is top of mind for many parents is the recent spike in heroin or opioid overdoses. It is a problem not only here, but in cities across the country. It is also a problem that the City of Santa Clarita has proactively addressed for years. Back in 2011 we launched the Heroin Kills campaign to raise awareness about this devastating problem and to help stop heroin from destroying more local families. The goal of the program is to warn at-risk youth and to educate parents about the heroin problem in Santa Clarita.
I urge you to take the time to familiarize yourself with the signs of possible drug use by browsing this website and learning from the resources it contains. I also encourage you to attend our free Parent Resource Symposium on Wednesday, September 13, 2017.
The City is also reaching out to students in our local schools through the DFY in SCV (Drug Free Youth in Santa Clarita Valley) program, formerly known as DFYIT. It is a free, school-based, voluntary, anti-drug club for junior high and high school students, and coming this fall it will also be in elementary schools. In DFY in SCV, teens thrive, drug-free, in a club run by students, for their peers. The club provides a positive network that supports good choices, leadership, and a drug-free lifestyle. You can learn more about this important program at dfyinscv.com.
I want to thank Los Angeles County Fifth District Supervisor Kathryn Barger, Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station Captain Robert Lewis and the entire sheriff’s department for their tireless commitment to keeping our community safe and working to eliminate the devastating effects that drugs have on individuals and their families.
We must take a holistic approach, combining efforts with city and county leaders on education, intervention and enforcement, and it starts here with the Heroin Kills program. The City of Santa Clarita, law enforcement, school districts and local agencies remain vigilant in strategizing methods to maintain a heightened awareness of the dangers of heroin, in addition to providing educational workshops, activities and messaging through social media.
We must all work together to put an end to this problem in our community and keep it safe for the future. As former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop said, “life affords no greater responsibility, no greater privilege, than the raising of the next generation.”
Mayor Cameron Smyth