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We need to be vigilant 

Thank you for the Jan. 3 article "San Luis Coastal is concerned about vaping." Karen Garcia's information was extremely accurate. As a San Luis Coastal Unified School District (SLCUSD) teacher for more than 35 years, I can attest to the fact that students are exposed to drug use as early as elementary school and that vaping, as a trend, is on the rise. Students are indeed struggling with addiction at ages younger than I have ever witnessed.

Ideally, there needs to be a comprehensive drug education program in every district throughout our country to inform students, parents, and guardians of the risks of adolescent drug use. I applaud the SLCUSD for recently establishing a mandatory health class for all seventh graders to lead them to healthy choices as they ascend to adulthood.

Currently, I teach and serve as vice president of the group Prevention of Substance Abuse for Youth (POSAFY). I invite all parents, educators, and concerned community members to attend the South County Marijuana Forum on Thursday, Jan. 31, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Lucia Mar Unified School District Board Room, 602 Orchard St. in Arroyo Grande. A group of diverse expert panelists will talk about their interest to curb teen drug use. Vaping, marijuana, opioids, alcohol, and other drugs will be discussed.

While alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and opioids are readily available for adults in our society, these products should simply not be used by teens while their brains and bodies are developing.

Although schools have measures to discipline students who are caught using drugs, I would rather have all parents, mentors, and educators strive to be proactive and secure facts through this forum, posafy.org, the SLO County Behavioral Health Department and Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.

Get the facts to protect the next generation from the slick advertising that surrounds vaping products and other drugs. Adults need to be vigilant, positive, healthy role models for children, now more than ever.

Mila Vujovich-La Barre

San Luis Obispo

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