EASTON, Md.- Nancy Wallace of Oxford wishes the Talbot County "Speak Up" Parent Coalition existed when her son was growing up years ago. Her son, now 43, is still battling addiction to this day.
Wallace knows nowadays that drugs and alcohol abuse among teens is even worse.
"I realize that in 2012 it's a serious problem," she said.
Wallace attended the first ever Parent Coalition meeting on Tuesday to help others by sharing her past experiences.
"I know how hard it is for parents to accept the fact that they may have a problem," she said. "You don't want to admit. I was afraid my son would never be able to go to a fraternity party in college and drink a beer, but there are obviously much more important things in life than having a beer."
Talbot County is the highest ranked county in Maryland when it comes to underage alcohol and drug abuse. Mary Kramer, who organized the Parent Coalition, said there are many ways to prevent this kind of behavior.
"We are hoping with this group to become aware and utilize tools that are available, bring in speakers to educate the parents on what they can do to prevent it and if their child is on the right track, how to keep them on the right track," Kramer said.
Tuesday's meeting shed light on how teens are trying drugs and alcohol as early as 13-years-old. Kramer said many parents are not aware this is happening to children that young.
"You don't expect it to start as early as it does and it's not something you care to think about because it's a battle and you have to deal with it," Kramer said.
Kramer noted that today it is not just illegal drugs that teens are abusing. They are also misusing prescription drugs that can be found in household medicine cabinets.
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