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Empowering Teens to Live Healthy Drug Free Lives

Empowering Teens to Live Healthy Drug Free Lives

By Union County Drug Free Coalition
Tools and tips for parents on best practice prevention approaches.
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Teen Mental Health: Causes, Signs, and Getting Help
Host Pete Emmons talks with Megan and Mackenzie about teen mental health at the end of the school year, plus programs that help teenagers who are dealing with mental health issues.  The Guests: Megan Rufty, RA, Prevention Educator for The Prevention Awareness Support Services Program (PASS) Mackenzie Marquis, LSW, School Navigator with the Maryhaven Program RESOURCES: -Prevention Awareness Support Services website: -Maryhaven website: -The Mosaic Project/Mobile Crisis Team Helpline: 833-667-2428. The Mosaic Project website:  -National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 -On Our Sleeves website:
May 18, 2022
Teenage Underage Drinking: Stress, Danger, and Help
April is National Alcohol Awareness Month, so on this episode we wanted to discuss teenage drinking. Pete Emmons and this month's guests talk about what underage drinking has looked like during the pandemic, the risks involved, plus resources and advice for parents and teens.  The Guests: -via Zoom, Dr. Ashley Ebersole, Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus -Janae Mulvaine, Chemical Dependency Counselor, Qualified Mental Health Specialist, and Navigator with Marysville Schools -Nancy Beals, Union County Drug Free Coalition Coordinator -Megan Rufty, Prevention Awareness Support Services (PASS)
April 13, 2022
Teen Gambling: Technology, Temptation, and Communication
Teen Gambling has been made more appealing in recent years. Video games, sports betting, and more are discussed in this episode. Host Pete Emmons interviews our expert panel about the problem and possible solutions.  Our Expert Panel, all joining us via Zoom: -Derek Longmeyier, Executive Director of The Problem Gambling Network of Ohio -Milan Karna, Problem Gambling Project Director with the Ohio Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services -Scott Anderson, Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor LCDC II, Ohio Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services
March 16, 2022
Healthy Teen Dating and the Signs of an Unhealthy Relationship
What are the signs of an unhealthy teen dating relationship? How is technology being used to abuse? What tips are there for teens in relationships? These questions and more are discussed in this episode, where Pete Emmons interviews a panel of experts. The Expert Panel:  -Barb Patterson, Social Worker and Ruling Our Experiences (ROX) Facilitator at North Union High School -Amanda Mariucci, Middle School Guidance Counselor and ROX Facilitator at North Union Middle School -Robin McNeal, Turning Point Teen Advocate -Sydney Cook, also a Turning Point Teen Advocate
February 16, 2022
Teen Prevention Leadership Academy Episode 1: Dangers of Drugs and Who We Are
In this first episode of the Teen Prevention Leadership Academy podcast, host Gigi Bix talks with fellow students about the many dangers of drugs and alcohol, as well as the personal reasons the TPLA is taking a stand against drug use.  TPLA members featured include:  -Emily Williams, Junior at Marysville High School -Emmalee Willis, Junior at Marysville High School -Jared Lariuz, Junior at Marysville Early College High School -Jillian Smith, Senior at Marysville Early College High School
February 07, 2022
Movement and Cooking: Healthy Lifestyle Balance for Youth
How can teens and kids maintain a healthy lifestyle balance of cooking and exercise in 2022? In this episode, we try to answer this question, and also talk about how to connect through groups, programs, and food.   Today's Panel:  -Rachel Baxter, Youth Development Director at The Union County Family YMCA -Chef Jim Kibby, from the podcasts “Cooking is Connecting” and "Cooking with Kibby" -Cassie Branan, Registered Applicant Prevention Facilitator from Prevention Awareness Support Services
January 19, 2022
Teen Vaping Update--Perspectives from a Doctor, a Student, and a Prevention Facilitator
As vaping continues to be a big health issue for teens, we present another episode on the topic. Pete Emmons speaks with guests about vaping perception, addiction, and drug-free programs.  The Guests: -via Zoom, Dr. Ashley Ebersole, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Adolescent Medicine Division at Nationwide Children's Hospital -Nevin Digney, Junior at Marysville STEM Early College High School -Megan Rufty, Prevention Facilitator with The Prevention Awareness Support Services program (P.A.S.S.)
December 15, 2021
How High Schoolers Can Prepare for College Admission
Tests. Community Service. Athletics. There’s a lot of things to consider when preparing for college. In this episode, Pete Emmons talks with guests about how students can get ready. The Guests: -Ken Chaffin, Director of Leadership and Collaboration with The Marysville Exempted Village School District. -Teen Members of The Union County Drug Free Coalition Teen Prevention Leaders Group:    -Nevin Digby, Junior at Marysville High School Early College STEM School    -Emmalee Willis, Junior at Marysville High School -Plus Christina Kesterson, Coordinator for the Teen Prevention Leadership Academy
November 17, 2021
Substance Abuse Awareness Month: Drug Take Back Day, PASS, and more
October is Substance Abuse Awareness Month, so in this episode, Pete and the guests discuss upcoming local events and organizations that help reduce substance abuse. Drug Take-Back Day Oct. 23 from 10 am-2 pm.  The Guests:  -Megan Rufty, Registered Applicant, Prevention Specialist with Prevention Awareness Support Service (PASS) -Lieutenant Matt Warden, Union County Sherriff's Office -Nancy Beals, Coordinator of the Union County Drug-Free Coalition 
October 14, 2021
The Crisis Intervention Team: What They Do and How They Help
In this episode, Pete Emmons talks to members of law enforcement about the Crisis Intervention Team. Topics include training, collaboration, de-escalation, and more.  The Guests: -Morgan Brown, Deputy with the Union County Sheriff’s Office, Crisis Intervention Team Member & Critical Incident Stress Management Team Coordinator -Rich Crabtree, Deputy Sheriff with the Union County Sheriff’s Office -Josh Dillahunt, Marysville Police Department Officer and Coordinator of the Comprehensive Intervention Crisis Program Resources: Union County Sheriff’s Office: 937-645-4100  Marysville Police Department: 937-645-7300  Crisis Hotline Through Mary Haven: 1-800-731-5577, or text 4help to 85511 
August 25, 2021
Back to School: Communication and Resources
It can be hard to transition into a new routine, especially since the pandemic. Host Pete Emmons interviews guests about preparing for the upcoming school year.  The Guests: Corie Bix, Director at United Way of Union County for information on programs and services please visit their website. Rich Baird, Superintendent at North Union Local Schools. For more information on North Union Local Schools visit their website at:  Donna Cullman, Executive Assistant at the Hope Center in Marysville. Information on the Hope Center can be found at: And for more information on preventing teen alcohol or drug usage please visit us at, or
August 04, 2021
People of Hope: Court Programs That Help Families Deal with Drug Addiction
How do court systems and programs work together to help families dealing with drug addiction? Host Pete Emmons finds out by interviewing 2 guests that have worked together for many years. The Guests: -Charlotte Coleman Eufinger, recently retired Judge of the Union County Probate & Juvenile Court -Dr. Robert Ahern, Ohio State College of Social Work Lecturer, and former Clinical Director & Chief of Staff of the Probate and Juvenile Court.  To make a contribution to the Families Matter Fund contact the Union County Community Foundation.
July 21, 2021
Drug Overdoses: Fatal Increases, and Resources to Help
Pete and our guests discuss the increase in fatal drug overdoses, especially relating to fentanyl. The Guests:    -Union County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Rich Crabtree    -Lindsay Fetherolf, Health Educator with The Union County Health Department    -Lance Emberling, Lead Investigator with The Union County Coroner’s Office LINKS     Mental Health and Recovery Board of Union County:     Union County Drug Free Coalition:     Union County Talks:     Opioid Awareness – Union County Health Department Clinics:     Union County Coroner contact:
June 30, 2021
Teen Vaping--A Second Discussion
We return to the topic of teen vaping in this episode. Host Pete Emmons talks to our guests about the effects of vaping, signs a teenager might be vaping, and resources to use to quit vaping and stay connected to others.  The Guests: -Shawn Sech, Director of Health Promotion & Planning at the Union County Health Department -Ken Chaffin, Principal of the Marysville STEM Early College High School -Nicole, Social Worker and Parent of a teen who has vaped
May 26, 2021
College Student Alcohol Use
Pete Emmons speaks with guests about college student alcohol use, the problems it causes, and what can be done to reduce it. The Guests: Sergeant Tom Gerber of the State Highway Patrol Nancy Beals, Union County Drug-Free Coalition Coordinator And via Zoom, Julianna Fellows, Community Prevention Manager with Prevention Action Alliance
May 05, 2021
Teen Dating Violence--Warning Signs and Speaking Up
Pete Emmons interviews guests about the scope of teen dating violence, the warning signs to watch out for, and local help for victims.  The Guests: -Robin McNeal, Teen Advocate for Turning Point in Marysville -From the Marysville Police Department: Detective Dennis Flanagan and Officer Amy Findley -Catherine Weeks, TRIAD Coordinator and Victim of Crime Advocate
March 31, 2021
The Mosaic Project-Helping Parents Find the Right Mental Health Resource
The Mosaic Project is a program that improves access to mental health care and provides support for parents. As the Mosaic Project prepares to expand, host Pete Emmons interviews two guests working on the program.  The Guests: -Randi Bargo-Smith, Youth Systems of Care Director for the Union County Mental Health & Recovery Board -Wren Hawkins, Lead Family Coordinator for the Union County Mental Health & Recovery Board
March 03, 2021
Youth Opportunities at the Union County YMCA
The pandemic has made it challenging for youth to safely engage in activities with their peers. In this episode, host Pete Emmons talks with leaders from the Union County YMCA about what’s available at the Y for youth and teens. The Guests: -Rachael Baxter, Youth Development Director -Brandi Hibbs, Membership Director -Mary Ann Coachman, Wellness Director
February 17, 2021
The School Navigator Program--How It Helps Student Mental Health
This episode focuses on the School Navigator Program in Union County and how it can improve the mental health of students when they need help.  The Guests: -Mackenzie Marquis, Navigator Case Manager with Maryhaven -Dale Jennings, Counselor at Navin and Mill Valley Elementary Schools in Marysville -and joining us via Zoom, Missy Usher, Navigator Case Manager with Maryhaven
January 27, 2021
Connecting to Community: Teens Taking Positive Action
In this episode, we focus on teen leaders and related organizations that are enhancing community mental and emotional wellness. The panelists are:  -Christina Kesterson, Union County Drug-Free Coalition and Leader of the Teen Prevention Leadership Academy -Megan Vollrath, Senior at Marysville High School and Member of the Global Scholar Program -Katie Krueger, Senior at Marysville High School, Global Scholar Program Participant, and Member of the Teen Prevention Leadership Academy -Julia Nelson, from the Union County Prevention Awareness Support Services
January 11, 2021
Maximizing The Christmas Season Experience During the Pandemic
In this episode, Pete and our guests share practical, positive tips and resources that can help brighten up the Christmas Season this year.  The Guests: -via Zoom, Beth Sanders, Founder and CEO of LifeBio -Shawnna Sue Jordan, Communications Specialist with the Union Co. Health Department and Owner of Crooked Door Studio -Katie Krueger, High School Student and Drug Free Coalition Member -via Zoom, Sidney Seagraves, High School Student and Drug Free Coalition Member
December 10, 2020
Teen Vaping--Practical Insight on a Growing Challenge
What can be done to decrease teen vaping? Host Pete Emmons discusses this topic with Shawn Sech, Director of Health Promotion and Planning with the Union County Health Department; Heidi LoParo, Assistant Principal of Bunsold Middle School; and Rich Crabtree, Assistant Deputy Sheriff of Union County.   
November 12, 2020
Underage Drinking--Risks and Getting Help
Host Pete Emmons talks with a panel of experts about underage drinking, both in general and specifically this year during the pandemic. Those experts are Seargent Don McGlenn of the Marysville Ohio Police Department; Janae Mulvanie, School Navigator, Youth Case Manager, and AOD Counselor at Maryhaven; and Holly Zweizig, Associate Director of the Union County Mental Health and Recovery Board. 
October 28, 2020
Medication Safety--What to Watch Out For and Drug Take Back
On this episode, we focus on the misuse of medication. Host Pete Emmons talks with Co-owner of Dave's Pharmacy and Pharmacist Donna Burke, Marysville Fire Chief Jay Riley, and Deputy Sheriff Rich Crabtree about being careful with prescription drugs, the upcoming Drug Take Back Day, and more!
October 08, 2020
Teen Isolation During the COVID-19 Crisis, what parents can do.
This is the first episode of the Empowering Teens to Live Healthy Drug-Free Lives podcast! Host Pete Emmons talks with Dr. Phil Atkins, Adham Schirg, Christina Kesterson, and Rachael Baxter about the difficulties facing teens during the COVID-19 crisis.
September 16, 2020