On June 7th, 2017, parents from the Saint-Malachie region were invited to attend a briefing session designed to help them understand the current issues of youth's drug use and the impact of the social media’s new reality.

Serge Comeau, speaker and Regional Director at Portage Saint-Malachie, a centre offering a specific program for adolescents with substance abuse problems, provided parents with tools to help them better understand their adolescent. The drug use culture changes rapidly and youth is challenged with a virtual reality that was not part of their parents’ generation.

Over the past two years, this conference has been offered to various stakeholders of the education and health sectors (in Eastern Québec schools, CIUSSS and medical clinics), promoting increased awareness of the following factors:

  • The various influences adolescents are faced with on social networks
  • The consequences of overindulging a child on youth behaviour
  • The immediacy offered by Internet that parents cannot control
  • The management of expectations and cravings experienced by adolescents
  • The actions that parents and counsellors must take to act rapidly and efficiently when they discover an adolescent’s use of drugs.

Audrey Péloquin, Director of the Maison des jeunes du Lac St-Charles, attended the conference and talked about her experience.

We contacted Serge Comeau of the Portage organization because we wanted to communicate the issues of substance abuse to youth attending our regional convention. We were presented with a clear and vivid picture and, above all, the content was given with great proficiency. Portage’s message allowed us to keep an open mind towards youths and to better understand the arduous process many adolescents chose to undergo to regain control of their life. It will be a pleasure for us to visit the Portage centre and the adolescents that give it its shape.