A statewide group that seeks to spread an anti-drug message is enlisting the support of Iowa’s older population. Barry Spear, the chairman of the “Partnership for a Drugfree Iowa,” says the group is asking grandparents to talk to their grandkids about the dangers of drugs. He says the new “Power of Grandparents” campaign will empower Iowa grandmas and grandpas to help their keep kids and grandkids drug free. He says it will be done with a series of public service announcements and a grandparents guide. Spear, who is also a healthcare executive, says grandparents have plenty of opportunity to talk to grandkids.He says a national A-A-R-P survey finds 44-percent of grandparents see their kids every week and 45-percent talk with their grandkids weekly. He says over half of grandparents say they would find information about talking to their grandkids about drugs helpful. Spear says it’s our obligation to step forward. He says each of us has a choice to make — do something about the drug problem — or not. He says it starts with talking with kids and grandkids about the dangers of drugs, of setting boundaries and expectations that lead to healthy and drugfree lifestyles. Spear says grandparents can provide a vital resource for kids that’s missing. He says there are 586-thousand Iowa kids between the ages of five and 18. He says it’s estimated that 10-percent of those kids don’t have a readily accessible, safe, secure role model in their life. He says if we were to take an account on the number of children whose role model is their grandparents, he says it would “astound us all.” Spears was asked if grandparents might fear they’d be meddling in the way their grandchildren are being raised. He says that’s a valid concern and it’s not a problem if you find your grandkids are getting the message about the dangers of drugs. He says he thinks we might find that there aren’t role models and the subject isn’t coming up and grandparents should dive into it. He says the booklet and resources available provide great insight. He says they’re armed with great tools and he says when grandparents look into it they will find they have a lot of support. The public service announcements begin running Thursday. for more information on the grandparents guide, surf to: www.drugfreeinfo.org.
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