Leonardo, NJ (Nov. 15, 2018) – Talking to kids about alcohol and drugs can be difficult for parents – knowing what to say and how to say it. Yet, having this conversation is more important than ever.

Heroin use is on the rise, and so far in 2018, there have been 189 suspected drug overdose deaths in Monmouth County, according to the Office of the New Jersey Coordinator of Addiction Responses and Enforcement Strategies.

The Community YMCA and partnering organizations will encourage and support parents in having meaningful and effective discussions with their children to prevent substance abuse at “A Night of Conversation” on Wed., Nov. 28, 6-7:30 p.m., at the Y’s Bayshore Family Success Center, 945 State Hwy 36, Leonardo.

“The Y is proud to collaborate with community leaders and organizations to help parents raise healthy, confident and connected kids who are empowered to make healthy choices that include avoiding using alcohol and drugs,” said Laurie Goganzer, president and chief executive officer of The Community YMCA.

In 2017, the New Jersey State Legislature passed a joint resolution that was signed into law, designating a Night of Conversation in November of each year. The purpose of the law is to create awareness about substance use and to help families initiate conversations about drug and alcohol addiction.

“A Night of Conversation helps to bring this issue to the forefront of parents’ consciousness,” Goganzer said, adding that YMCAs across the state are hosting similar events.

“A Night of Conversation” is free and open to all parents and teens. Dinner will also be served. Partnering with the Y to present this event are: Monmouth County Division of Mental Health & Addiction Services, Wellspring Center for Prevention, and the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse (GCADA).

Families are encouraged to sign up by Nov. 23. For more information on this event or to RSVP, e-mail familysuccess@cymca.org or call 732.497.3811.

About The Community YMCA

The Y is a leading nonprofit charity that strengthens communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The Community YMCA serves more than 20,000 residents in greater Monmouth County, NJ through programs such as: preschool, before and after school care, summer day camp, teen leadership, arts enrichment, health and wellness and personal and family counseling. In 2017, the Y provided $871,250 in financial assistance and program subsidies to strengthen 1,746 children and families in Monmouth County. For more information, visit TheCommunityYMCA.org.