EDITORIAL: Kudos to engaged parents

York Dispatch
Dave and Sherrie Croson of North Codorus Twp., attend a workshop to help parents and community members recognize the early symptoms of addiction and drug use Wednesday night, Jan. 27, 2016, at the Byrnes Health Education Center. The workshop included a mock-up of a "drug room" for the community to learn how to find signs that their kids are on drugs. Randy Flaum photo

Thumbs Up: On a chilly Wednesday night, some 20 York-area parents attended an educational program about kids and drugs.

The program, Drugs 101, put on by the Byrnes Health Education Center, was meant to give vital information to parents regarding kids and drug use. Typically the sessions see 70 or 80 people, organizers say.

We think the small crowd was particularly exceptional because of the likely exhausted folks who have just braved an exceptional storm.

Last week in our thumbs-up feature, we championed Michelle Outen who included the circumstances of her 24-year-old son’s overdose death in the obituary she wrote for him. Kevin Outen had everything to live for, Michelle said, but he couldn’t kick his drug addiction.

Outen pleaded with parents to talk to their children, early and often, about the perils of drug addiction.

The Byrnes program gives parents tools to have those conversations and as Nikole Tome, assistant director of education services at the Byrnes Health Center, said: “This is not an easy conversation, nor is it a one-time conversation.”

Those parents who braved the cold weather to come out and hear about how they can keep their kids safe are heroes. We often hear from readers regarding criminal behavior, gang activity and drug abuse and they often ask: “Where were the parents?”

While we understand raising children is difficult, complicated and complex, and blaming all parents isn’t necessarily productive, we recognize the affect that strong parenting has on growing human beings. And for being involved and engaged, we salute the parents who attended Wednesday night’s Drugs 101 program. If you are interested in learning more about the health and well-being of those you love and care for, visit the Byrnes Health Education Center website here.

Thumbs Up: To the Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers’ Association, which has navigators to help folks sign up for health insurance through the new Health Care Marketplace. Health insurance coverage is mandatory under the Affordable Care Act. Those without health insurance could face tax fees, or fines.

If you would like more information about the navigator service, log on to pmhca.org or call (855) 274-5626.

If you don’t enroll in a 2016 plan by Jan. 31, 2016, you can’t enroll in a health insurance plan for 2016 unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.

Visit HealthCare.gov and complete an application to see the coverage available in your area. You can also call the Health Insurance Marketplace Call Center directly at (800) 318-2596 for more information. TTY users should call (855) 889-4325.

Thumbs Up: To the boisterous fans who cheered on their respective teams at the South Western-Spring Grove match on Wednesday night in which the Rockets clinched a tie for the D-1 title.

The match had been postponed a day, which built the anticipation and our sports reporter covering the match, Patrick Stohecker, tweeted that he was impressed by the positive energy from the crowd.

You can’t underestimate the good energy that is created when high school sports fans converge (at a sold-out event, no less) to make it a contest – and night – to remember. Congratulations, all.