RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Tackling tough subjects like underage drinking and drug use may soon take on a new look. A local organization plans to make the conversation interactive-- all thanks to a grant from the Virginia ABC.
It's a tough subject for parents but research shows starting that conversation can be essential to helping your kids make good choices. The regional Drug Free Alliance hopes a new website, can make that talk a little easier.
Rick McKeel, Executive Director of the regional Drug Free Alliance, knows what lands on this website, could change lives. On the site there will be testimonials you can hear.
"Their stories now are going to become sort of the basis for helping other people deal with their issues as well," he said.
Stories like Jennifer Franklin's - a woman in her mid 20s, who was addicted to drugs, homeless, and pregnant.
"Before I knew it, my life just spiraled out of control," Franklin said.
She says she's reclaimed her life, but not before making big mistakes.
"It just took me to a place that I never thought I would be. Hopeless, suicidal, I just didn't have any purpose to live," she explained.
But she hopes by sharing this story, she'll help others make better choices.
"I hope that they get the understanding and that they get the courage that they'll speak up and say hey…I heard of somebody that went through this and it wasn't good," said Franklin.
And that stories like hers will give parents a voice, to reach their kids.
"Study after study for the last 25 years has shown the number one prevention and activity that can be undertaken is a parent talking to their child," McKeel said.
McKeel says parents are key in the fight against drug and alcohol abuse. And he points out-- even if your child doesn't have a problem, he or she might be going to school or activities with kids that do. He hopes this site will arm those kids with the tools they need to say no, and get help.
The website will launch in October. We're told it will be free to anyone who wants to use it.