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angle-left Ontario County Program Raises Awareness of Drug and Alcohol Use in Teens

Ontario County Program Raises Awareness of Drug and Alcohol Use in Teens

For Immediate Release:  2018-08-09

Contact:  Emily VanDerEems or Karen Feigel (585) 238-4308

Parents, teachers and others are learning to identify clues that young adults may be using or experimenting with drugs or alcohol through a program developed by the Council on Alcoholism and Addictions of the Finger Lakes.

The “Hidden in Plain Sight, Telling Their Secrets” program is designed to spread awareness and teach parents, or anyone who has a relationship with a young person, how to start a conversation about drug and/or alcohol use.

As part of the program adults are taken through a model teen bedroom to identify objects that could signal possible warning signs of drug and/or alcohol use.

“The goal of the program is to help increase awareness in order to intervene and save lives,” says Tim VanDamme, executive director of the Council on Alcoholism and Additions of the Finger Lakes. “Giving adults access to this information is critical to reducing the rate of overdoses and youth fatalities. If more parents are educated, more parents can prevent drug/alcohol use in adolescents.”

Russ Kenyon, a parent who recently participated in the program, thought he would easily be able to identify the hidden clues. “Now I have a better awareness of things I wouldn’t have thought twice about,” he said. ”The more I learn, the better parent I can be. I am certain that the program expanded my horizons and recommend any parent to go through this; your eyes will be opened.”

The Council offers presentations throughout the Finger Lakes region. “Hidden in Plain Sight” will be able to reach more people, thanks to funding from Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. Starting in December 2017, the Council hopes to reach more than 1000 people.

For more information on the program and a calendar of upcoming presentations please visit 

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Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, is a nonprofit health plan with 1.5 million upstate New York members. The company's mission is to help people live healthier and more secure lives through access to high-quality, affordable health care. Its products and services include cost-saving prescription drug discounts, wellness tracking tools and access to telemedicine. With more than 3,500 employees, the company is committed to attracting and retaining a diverse workforce to foster innovation and better serve its members. It also encourages employees to engage in their communities by providing paid volunteer time off as one of many benefits. To learn more, visit