Talk early and often with your children about drugs and alcohol.
Children of parents who talk to their teens regularly about drugs are 42% less likely to use drugs than those who don’t, yet only a quarter of teens report having these conversations. Read more about keeping your teens addiction-free here.
Youth access to alcohol, marijuana, and prescription drugs (not prescribed to them) is primarily from family and friends, with and without permission.
Brains are not fully developed until the age of 24 or 25.
Most kids grow dramatically during the adolescent and teen years. Their young brains, particularly the prefrontal cortex that is used to make decisions, are growing and developing, until their mid-20’s.Long-term drug use causes brain changes that can set people up for addiction and other problems. Once a young person is addicted, his or her brain changes so that drugs are now the top priority. He or she will compulsively seek and use drugs even though doing so brings devastating consequences to his or her life, and for those who care about him. Read more here
Time and again, kids say their parents are the single most important influence when it comes to talking about drugs and alcohol. That’s why we ask parents to Talk Early and Often. If you need resources, there are many toolkits, conversation starters and even apps for parents available.
Here are links to resources for parents that our coalition recommends:
Ask, Listen, Learn
Get Smart About Drugs
National Institute On Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Parent Talk Kit
Partnership For Drug-Free Kids
Parents. The Anti-Drug.
Talk. They Hear You.
SAMSHA National Help Line
Youth Tobacco Prevention