Melissa Gilbert‘s celebrity power may not reach teens.   After all, it’s been a long time since she was a teen star, and she’s no longer the Olsen Twins, Lindsay Lohan, or Demi Lovato of her day.    But that’s OK.    Gilbert, the new spokesperson for The partnership at drugfree.org, isn’t trying to share her message of sobriety with teens.    She’s reaching out to people her own age.

AOL contributor David Moye profiled Gilbert and her new mission; educating parents on teen drug use.   You can see all of David’s article on AOL, right here. Gilbert opens up with her family’s struggles.   She talks about one of her teen’s severe battle with drug use.    This is the type of role model parents need today.    Parents think they can recognize the sign of a teen’s drug use, but they can’t until it’s too late.

Gilbert’s best and most poignant quote to Moye, “”So, I just came to this epiphany that I had this kid who was addicted to cocaine and none of us had a clue, and if we were clueless, imagine how many other parents are clueless.”   Gilbert’s position as the spokesperson for The Partnership is a welcome sign to addiction counselors and treatment specialists.

Tim Chapman, founder of the Chapman House rehab more than 30 years ago, says this is the positive role model parents need.   “Sometimes parents have to stop and say, “gee, if this could happen to Melissa Gilbert’s children, this could happen to my kids.””   Chapman applauds Gilbert’s active role in educating parents.   “Schools are educating kids.  We (counselors) are educating kids.   Sadly, parents are not educating their kids.   Adults sometimes believe that it’s a given that kids just know that drugs are bad.   If it takes a celebrity to preach what I’ve been preaching for thirty years, I am all for it.   My stance has always been that if you educating parents, you keep the family drug free.”

Chapman recommends that parents utilize Teensavers home drug tests to help keep their kids in check.   “I’ve heard all of the possible arguments from both parents and teens why the drug tests shouldn’t be in the home,” says Chapman.   “I tell every single one of them that there is no stronger argument for them, than a funeral for a child.”

Chapman’s words ring true from thousands of families who have lost a child to drug use.    Testing for drugs isn’t invasive or breaking a family bond.   Home drug testing can bring a family closer together.

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