By: Leah Uko
ASHLAND, NE (KPTM) – Next Monday at Ashland/Greenwood people can find envelopes with different colored stickers on a table that will read:
"I'm sending you this letter to inform you that I am concerned that your child may be abusing alcohol, and I am asking for some help!!! I care for them and don't want to see them get hurt. Thanks so much."
A father whose son died from overdosing on synthetic marijuana hopes teenagers will take one and find a way to give one to a parent whose kid may be abusing drugs or alcohol. Each color is assigned to a different substance.
The purpose to make parents aware of trending drugs that are readily available to their kids.
"All they have to do is address it to whom they want it to go to, drop it in a mailbox and it's done!" Steve Tucker said. "No name is known, no body has to know they ‘hey I'm the one that sent you that letter."
Steve Tucker was shocked when his son William "Billy" Tucker didn't wake up from a nap one Sunday in October.
"We had no clue," said Tucker in response to whether or not he knew his son was using drugs. "We absolutely had no clue."
Billy spent a Saturday night in Lincoln at a party. He was still intoxicated when he returned to Waverly with three friends about 8:30 a.m. the next morning. Police said Tucker decided to take a nap in a bedroom at his friend's house in Waverly.
A friend of the 18-year-old wasn't able to wake Tucker up. Around 1:45 p.m. that afternoon, Waverly Fire and Rescue pronounced Tucker dead at the scene with no visible signs of trauma.
His family said they are still grieving, but want parents to never assume their kids will never do drugs.
Steve said had one of Tucker's friends told him about the drug use, he would have stepped in to stop it.
"They didn't want to be the person to rat on him and lose that friendship," he continued. "The question is what friendship do they have to rebuild now? There is none."
Tucker, along with 20 organizations in the Ashland and Greenwood community will host a parent forum of trending drugs Monday, December 30th. There will be a panel of drug specialists with information about marijuana, synthetic marijuana, narcotics, alcohol and other substances parents may or may not be aware of.
Jennifer Green with LiveWise Coalition said the more parents talk to their kids about ways to reject drugs, the less likely their kids may be to try them.
"We found with a lot of these kids, parents are doing a good job. They're talking to their kids and they're trying to show interest with their kids, but they're not asking them the right questions," Green said.
Green said the biggest key is to never assume that your kid will never do drugs and to ask specific questions about drugs to get specific answers.
"They're not going to tell their parents that, you know, we have to be realistic and kids are only going to tell you as much as—you know, what you ask about. They won't offer up that information."
The parent forum will be set up in the commons area at Ashland/Greenwood High School from 3-5 p.m. Monday, December 30th.
There will be a panel presentation addressing prescription drug abuse, synthetic drugs and adolescent mental health.
Organizations helping host the panel are:
TJ's Purple Project
Saunders County Youth Services
National Guard Counterdrug Program
Tobacco Free Cass County
Region 5 Behavioral Health
Nova Therapeutic Community Inc.
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