A WAFB-TV, Channel 9 I-TEAM report by Scottie Hunter on March 9, raised awareness about the amount of drugs found in area schools, and CAHS Executive Director Jan Laughinghouse, PhD, LCSW-BACS, LAC, was interviewed, based on her longtime experience as a licensed addiction counselor.
According to the WAFB report, there were 11 instances of drugs brought into the Central Community School System, 86 cases in Ascension Parish schools, 181 in East Baton Rouge Parish schools, and 185 times in Livingston Parish schools.
Dr Laughinghouse said children can get drugs from a number of places, and raising awareness about the issue is key to solving the problem.
“Just the awareness … that they (youth) do have access whether it’s through convenience stores, getting them from a relative or from a friend, and so it’s important that parents know about these things,” Laughinghouse said.
Dr. Laughinghouse continued, “Say for example somebody has had some dental work and they have pain killer still left in the house, well the child still has access to that. Edibles is another big thing and we’ve been seeing them get into schools and the way that they’re packaged.”
“Research clearly shows that the earlier folks start using, it increases the likelihood that the person will develop a substance use disorder over a long term, so absolutely it is a concern that children start using substances early,” said Dr. Laughinghouse.