At the start of the new year, the Island Wide Youth Collaborative launched a speaker series designed to address an array of topics centered around addiction and substance use.
Thulani DeMarsay, a recovery coach in Boston kicked off the series with a forum on teen substance use. She discussed the importance of communication between adults and children and emphasized the value of understanding the developing teenage brain.
Following Thulani’s forum – IWYC welcomed Dr. Heather Forkey, of UMass Memorial Chlidren’s Medical Center and UMass Medical School. Dr. Forkey’s discussion was focused on child trauma and addiction. She highlighted the link between childhood trauma and addiction, explaining to the audience that those exposed to trauma at a young age have a much higher chance of developing addictions.
At the end of March, the third speaker in the series, Dr. Ruth Potee, captivated the audience at MVRHS library while addressing the effects of substance use on the adolescent/teen brain. Dr. Potee discussed strategies for parents to deter children from drug/alcohol use as long as possible and explained the impact early use has on brain development.
If you are interested in seeing Dr. Potee’s discussion, you can view the full presentation here.