"Parents are the most potent and underused tool in preventing substance abuse."
- Joseph A. Califano, Jr., Chairman and President, Center for Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University
This section is a resource for parents and families to become better educated about youth substance abuse - to understand the many aspects that surround this issue, to clarify misconceptions, answer questions, offer scientific support and provide practical solutions.
Here you will find useful links to nationally recognized websites. Some provide the latest in research findings, others provide facts about alcohol and various illicit and prescription drugs. Many will provide useful parenting tips and great newsletters you can sign up for. You can subscribe to our very own free RADAR newsletter. You'll be amazed how helpful it is to get these newsletters as reminders to help you navigate the tough teen years.
Why this is important
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) of the U.S. Department of Heath and Human Services, 40% of children who start drinking before the age of 15 will become dependant on alcohol or suffer other mental health disorders at some point in their lives. Delaying the use of alcohol until the legal age helps avoid many of the associated problems. This is the reason why the United States Surgeon General's Office issued a Call to Action to Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking. The Call to Action presents a compelling foundation for change to the accepted culture and attitudes towards underage drinking in America and asks parents, communities and educational systems to take a stand to work for a solution.
According to the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, teens who report that they learn a lot about the risks of drugs from their parents are close to 50 percent less likely to use them, yet fewer than one-third of teens say they "learn a lot about the risks of drugs" from their parents. According to kids from our own community who participated in our first "dialog day" in spring 2008, meaningful parental involvement and empathy is welcomed - not just a yes or no on these sensitive topics.
Underage alcohol and drug use is abundant in our community. The whole community must be engaged and feel ownership of the substance use problem. Only by working together toward a shared vision with a specific action plan can long-term change be achieved. As we know, parents play a most vital role. But you needn't go it alone!
Please take advantage of the many resources on this website, learn about the risks and talk to your children. Get involved in RADAR and become empowered to help improve our children's future.
Drugs and Alcohol - New Science = Greater Concerns
Drug and Alcohol Facts - Did you know?
Get facts and general information about alcohol and specific drugs. Use these websites to look up information about various substances. Get street names, descriptions about what they look like, specific health concerns, short term and long term and other key factual information.
General Resources and Parenting Tips
You are the most important influence in preventing substance use. It's all about the relationship.
You'll find plenty of helpful information and parenting tips at these websites.
Talk to Your Kids
Research shows that kids who learn a lot about the risks of drugs and alcohol from their parents are up to 50% less likely to use. By talking to your kids about drugs and alcohol, you can help them make better choices and live safer, healthier lives. Talking to your kids about difficult topics is not always easy. Here are several websites that provide help and conversation starters.
More Parenting Help
Research, Policy and News about the Effects of Drugs & Alcohol
Drug and alcohol abuse is in our communities
Additional Resources -- Websites
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