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Kick Off Your Drug Free Summer to be Monday at Mike Waters Memorial Park

Carnival-type event hosted by the Community Coalition for the Prevention of Substance Use and Abuse, and Healthy Communities Partnership of Greater Franklin County

June 05, 2012|By ROXANN MILLER | roxann.miller@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — Members of the Franklin County nonprofit community are taking steps to make sure area youth start their summer right with the third annual Kick Off Your Drug Free Summer.

Kick Off Your Drug Free Summer will be Monday from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at Mike Waters Memorial Park on Second Street in Chambersburg.

The carnival-type event, which will be hosted by the Community Coalition for the Prevention of Substance Use and Abuse, and Healthy Communities Partnership of Greater Franklin County, is free and open to the public.

The event will feature games, prizes, music, minigolf, an inflatable giant slide, balloon animals and food, said Karen Johnston, executive director of Healthy Communities Partnership of Greater Franklin County.

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The event will showcase the different events that youths and families can do in the area during the summer, Johnston said.

“There’s a lot to do here without turning to unhealthy choices like drugs and alcohol,” Johnston said.

According to a 2005-06 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, it is estimated that more than 12,000 people 12 and older in Franklin and Fulton counties have substance-abuse disorders.

Due to the increased amount of unsupervised time during the summer months, Johnston said national studies have shown there is an increase in the amount of drug use among youths.

According to the 2002 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more teens try marijuana for the first time in the summer months than any other time of the year.

“Each day in June, July and August, approximately 6,100 young people try marijuana for the first time; that’s 38 percent more per day than during the rest of the year,” according to the survey.

The idea for Kick Off Your Drug Free Summer came from a ninth-grade male student Johnston met a few years ago. The student moved from a high drug area in Connecticut to Franklin County.

The student suggested a program to show youths that there were fun things to do in the area rather than making negative choices, she said.

For more information, call 717-264-1470 or go to www.hcpfranklinpa.org.

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