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Mustang parents attend "Parent University"

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Parents brought their children to Parent University at the Centennial Elementary School in Mustang. Parents brought their children to Parent University at the Centennial Elementary School in Mustang.
Shannon Rigsby helped coordinate the Parent University classes. Shannon Rigsby helped coordinate the Parent University classes.
Michael Snowden said children are substituting pharmaceutical drugs for street drugs. Michael Snowden said children are substituting pharmaceutical drugs for street drugs.

By Rusty Surrette, NEWS 9

Mustang public schools held "Parent University" Thursday night at Centennial Elementary School. The classes were aimed at helping parents learn how gangs, drugs, violence and stress are affecting their children.

"It's stressful to grow up; it's stressful to be a kid in today's society," said Mustang Public Schools spokeswoman Shannon Rigsby.

Hot topics for the parenting classes were Internet safety, health, and drugs.

"In Canadian County, in the first six months of 2007, there were six overdose deaths," said Michael Snowden from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Narcotics. "All of those overdose deaths were from pharmaceutical drugs."

According to a youth risk behavior survey from the Oklahoma State Department of Health, the number of Oklahoma students using meth-amphetamines and marijuana is on the decline. But Snowden said students are simply making a switch to pharmaceutical drugs.

"They (pharmaceutical drugs) have the exact same effects," he said. "You can get a guaranteed dosage from a pharmaceutical or a prescription-type drug that you can get from an elusive street drug."

The youth risk behavior survey also said while cigarette smoking is declining amongst students, the number of students using smokeless tobacco products is increasing. The survey also showed an increased number of students are drinking and engaging in sexual activity.

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