You are the most POWERFUL influence on your child’s behavior!
This page provides tips and resources for parents to use when talking to their children about issues like substance use/misuse, underage drinking, prescription drug misuse, marijuana, LGBTQ youth, and more.
Talk to your kids
Talk early. Talk often. Over 70% of children say their parents are the biggest influence over their decision to drink or not.
When planning conversations with children ages 9-13, refer to the “Talk. They Hear You.” website, provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. This website has excellent information and tips.
Make a Difference focuses on having conversations with teens.
Be a good role model
Be aware of the messages you are sending to children. Have you ever reached for a drink, saying ‘I had a tough day?’
Do you tell drinking stories in front of kids?
Do you ever ask your kids to get you a beer from the refrigerator?
Do you encourage your own friends to drink more? ‘Come on, just have one more!’
These can send mixed messages.
Know what’s out there
Do you understand the different substances and the use disorders associated with them? DrugRehab.com has valuable information on the different substance use disorders.
Prescription Drug Misuse
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 1 out of 4 teens report taking a prescription drug at least once in their life not given to them by a doctor.
70% of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends.
What can you do? Take the steps recommended in our Prescription For Safety.
Prescription for Safety
Secure: Safeguard your medications. Lock them up! JM4C offers free home medication lock boxes as a safe and secure place to store your prescription drugs.
Monitor: Would you know if someone took a few? Be able to say “Yes!”
Dispose: Use a drop box to safely get rid of expired or unused medicine. The map below shows the Rock County Drop Box locations.
Talk to your kids
It’s important that our children learn about the use and abuse of prescription drugs.
For tips on talking to teenagers, this guide, “Talk to Your Kids About Prescription Drug Abuse “Not Worth the Risk” is a helpful resource.
According to National Institute on Drug Abuse research, most marijuana use begins in adolescence. The teen brain is still developing and it is especially vulnerable to drug use.
For more information, check out the NIDA’s “Marijuana: Facts Parents Need to Know.”
Guide for Parents Talking to Their Teenagers About Cannabis – We are interviewing Mr. Tyler Reimer who has been a Certified School Counselor for 15 years, specializing in working with families in crisis, including substance abuse, anxiety, depression, self-harm, family abuse, suicidal ideations and attempts.
Cannabis Substance Abuse among Homeless and Runaway Youths – we interview Ms. Brittany McCarthy, who is a Licensed Professional Counselor providing substance abuse and mental health treatment working with marginalized populations, including children and families involved with the Department of Human Services Family Treatment Drug Court Program.
A Comprehensive Look at the Connection Between Domestic Violence, Substance Abuse and Cannabis – featuring our expert, Dr. Michael Levitan, a former UCLA instructor and psychotherapist specializing in treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).