Dear Editor:

Video recently leaked onto the Internet of Miley Cyrus smoking salvia, a herb that can produce hallucinogenic effects when smoked or ingested. Since then, there have been reports of increases in salvia sales at some California smoke shops.

As parents, we need to examine how incidents like this affect our kids. It begs the question: What type of influence do celebrities have on kids and teens with regard to important issues such as substance use and abuse?

This is the perfect example of a teachable moment - a way for parents to get educated and initiate a conversation with their kids and teens about drug and alcohol use.

Here in Arizona, the average age of first drug use is 13 years old, which means we need to start the conversation early and keep the dialogue going. It's the single most effective way for us to raise healthy, drug-free kids.

Shelly Mowrey

Director of Programs and Communications

Partnership for a Drug-Free America, Arizona Affiliate

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