Multilingual Web Site Addresses Teen Drug Abuse

Multilingual Web Site Addresses Teen Drug Abuse
Posted by FoM on February 29, 2000 at 23:20:03 PT
By Christine Frey, Los Angeles Times
Source: Modesto Bee
As part of the effort to stem drug and alcohol use among ethnic youth, federal officials have launched a multilingual Web site for parents seeking information on the issue.  While government statistics have found no significant difference in youth drug and alcohol use by race or ethnic group, studies have shown communicating to ethnic populations in their native languages increases the information's effectiveness, said Alejandra Castillo, spokeswoman for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. 
 The site: is available in Spanish, Cambodian, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese. The English version has been online since September.  Parental involvement also has been shown to have an effect on youth drug use.  The Web site encourages parents to talk to their kids about drugs and alcohol and gives tips on setting rules on behavior and establishing curfews and increasing the amount of time a family spends together.  One section offers role-playing techniques parents can use to show their children how to react if they are offered drugs or alcohol. Another section helps parents respond to queries about their own drug use by suggesting possible answers.  The Web site explains how parents can meet with teachers, doctors and other community members to establish new ties.  Creation of the Web site is part of a five-year, $1 billion federal campaign against drug and alcohol use that began in 1998 and targets kids ages 9 to 18.  Obtaining information about combating drug and alcohol use can be intimidating, said Lupita Rubalcava, a middle school counselor at in East Los Angeles.  When parents come to her with concerns, she talks to them about the problem or gives them phone numbers to referral organizations. Now with the multilingual Web site, they can reach such information from their personal computers, she noted.  Parents "need to keep the lines of communication open so when a child goes home and says, 'Hey, so-and-so (said this),' the parent can have actual facts," Rubalcava said. "That way a child doesn't go to a friend and get the wrong information." Published: February 29, 2000Copyright  The Modesto Bee 
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