Voices in Prevention spotlights folks on Maui, Moloka’i and Lana’i who’re working in drug use prevention, therapy and restoration, or are affected by substance use. This month, we spoke with Andrea Maniago, volunteer with Moms In opposition to Drunk Driving and mum or dad whose 16-year-old eldest son, Kai’o, was killed in a crash brought on by a drunken driver in 2009.
Q: What can dad and mom do to guard their children from the harms of substance use?
Maniago: My recommendation is to be extra concerned. Ask extra questions: “Whose home? What’s going to you be doing? Do you want me to select you up?” Meet the dad and mom. Be extra concerned in what your children are doing. These days it’s tougher as a result of persons are extra standoffish. However I wish to know who my children are hanging out with.
Q: The place are you most involved about children utilizing medication or being uncovered to substance use?
Maniago: In fact I’m anxious about children partying. As a mum or dad I don’t personally see it, however I hear about it. Individuals will see issues on Snapchat. Earlier than it was once Fb and Instagram, however now it’s Snapchat I hear about extra usually. Proper now my daughter is 10 and he or she is at an age the place she is going to inform me something. However I can see in a pair years she is going to simply be extra concerned in social media. It sucks her into this atmosphere the place she is uncovered to issues we wouldn’t expose them to at dwelling. They’re uncovered to a lot so rapidly, it’s scary.
Q: You advocated for the Maui social host ordinance, which permits police to positive individuals who host gatherings with underage ingesting. Why is that vital to you?
Maniago: I really feel just like the ordinance is vital as a result of one subject we’ve right here on Maui is home events. Nobody is speaking about it, however everyone knows. And dangerous issues are occurring due to them. Youngsters are conscious of those events. Neighborhoods are conscious of those events. We’ve been ignoring this home get together subject and it’s turning into increasingly more harmful.
Q: The Maui social host ordinance handed final February, however is but to be enforced. What do you hope it’s going to accomplish, when it’s enforced?
Maniago: I’m hoping it’s going to forestall younger folks from getting sexually assaulted, and from stepping into their automobiles and driving after ingesting. I’m hoping it’s going to forestall alcohol poisoning. It’s so vital as a result of it prevents this stuff from occurring. It should make dad and mom extra conscious of what their children are as much as, and forestall underage ingesting at home events.
Q: What actions have you ever been concerned in just lately to convey consciousness to underage ingesting and drunk driving?
Maniago: The Maui Police Division just lately did the DUI checkpoint in November, in honor of Hannah Brown. (The Maui teen was killed in a head-on collision on Kuihelani Freeway in 2019.) The Division of Transportation, the prosecuting Legal professional’s Workplace and a few County Council members had been there. Miss Maui, who focuses on lowering drunk driving as a part of her platform, got here out. We additionally simply completed a public service announcement to convey consciousness to driving safely. It’s three totally different dad and mom speaking concerning the goals of our children, what their futures might have regarded like and the way they had been denied that due to how folks had been driving. There have been additionally sign-waving occasions reminding of us to not drink and drive in the course of the vacation season. One on December twenty third, and one by Maui Financial Alternative’s youth program on December thirtieth.
Q: As a mom, what message do you have got for teenagers to remain secure?
Maniago: I believe it’s vital to remind children that you could be really feel pressured, however that doesn’t imply it’s worthwhile to give in. Strive to not give in. Know who your pals are. Have that lifeline. Know that good friend you may depend on.
* To study extra about Moms In opposition to Drunk Driving, go to www.madd.org/hawaii/. For extra data on the Maui social host ordinance and the Maui Coalition for Drug-Free Youth, go to www.mcdfy.org or comply with on Fb and Instagram @mauicoalitionfordrugfreeyouth.
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