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Ridgewood Municipal Alliance Brings Forum On Substance Use

Dr. Tim Silvestri will be helping equip parents to have hard conversation with their kids at a May 23 forum.
Dr. Tim Silvestri will be helping equip parents to have hard conversation with their kids at a May 23 forum. Photo Credit: courtesy of Tim Silvestri

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. -- The Ridgewood Community Task Force and Municipal Alliance Committee will host a parent forum, "Straight Shots: Substance Use and Social Norms," at Ridgewood High School on Monday, May 23.

The presentation is for middle school and high school parents to discuss the risks associated with underage drinking -- and provide information to help parents have open conversations with their kids.

Research shows that parents can significantly influence their children's decision-making about alcohol and drug use -- by up to 30 percent -- by discussing the dangers and risks. Additionally, approximately 75 percent of kids turn to their parents for guidance on substance-use issues.

Dr. Tim Silvestri, social science professor and licensed psychologist, will be the speaker for the evening. He will present his program, Straight Shots, which includes several aspects:

  • an understanding of the national social norms regarding underage drinking and drug use;
  • detailed information on the biomechanics of alcohol and drug consumption on the teenage brain;
  • a visual journey through the brain from first drink to death, with a primary emphasis on skill-building throughout; and
  • the multiple realities facing students including social (mis)perception and positive expectations for substance use.

Silvestri has two decades' experience educating business professionals, academic administrators, faculty, parents and students. For the last four years, Silvestri has been a guest presenter at RHS, speaking with students about making healthy choices, avoiding at-risk behaviors and coping strategies for success in college.

"Silvestri's presentations carry the rigor of science with the accessibility of a casual conversation," organizers note.

The presentation will begin at 7 p.m. in the Ridgewood High School Campus Center, 627 E Ridgewood Ave.

Municipal Alliance programs are funded through the Governor's Counsel on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, with money collected from fines on those convicted of drug-related offenses. The Municipal Alliance coordinates the Safe Homes Parent Network and participates in the Parents who Host Lose the Most campaign.

For more information about the Municipal Alliance, visit its website or call Sheila Brogan at

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