Keep Them Safe, Keep Them Healthy

keep them healthy kids smallThe best way to influence your child to avoid drinking or drug use is to have a strong, trusting relationship with him or her. When parents tell their children they strongly disapprove of youth drinking alcohol or using drugs, children are less likely to engage in using them. Begin talking to your children at an early age about the risks associated with drug and alcohol use.

To communicate with your children

  • Encourage conversation every day
  • Ask open-ended questions
  • Listen to what they say
  • Control your emotions
  • Respect your child’s viewpoint
  • Set clear, sensible rules
  • Be a good role model

Let’s Keep Our Youth

Safe and Healthy

What You Need to Know About...

Alcohol

  • Inventory and monitor the alcohol in your home, including beer in the kitchen and garage refrigerators.
  • Teens report that they most often consume alcohol at a home – theirs, a friend’s and at parties.
  • Underage drinking is against the law and providing alcohol to minors could cost you a fine of $1,000 or up to 90 days in jail.
  • The brain continues to develop until the age of 25. Alcohol and drug use before that time affects cognitive and emotional development.
  • Forty percent of those who begin drinking alcohol before the age of 14 become alcohol dependent at some time in their lives, compared with nine percent who wait until at least age 21.

Rx Drugs

  • The most common way teens obtain prescription drugs is from a friend or from a doctor.
  • Misuse of prescription opiates can lead to addiction and heroin use.
  • Monitor all prescription and over-the-counter medications.
  • Store prescription and over-the-counter medications in a locked box or other safe place in your home.
  • Dispose of unused medications at a designated prescription drug drop off site. Visit http://ow.ly/yx8e5 to find a drop-off site in your area.

Marijuana

  • Teens think “marijuana is natural so it must be safe.” Marijuana smoke contains 50-70 percent more cancer causing chemicals than tobacco smoke. Marijuana use compromises judgment which can lead to engaging in risky behaviors.
  • Drugged Driving – Marijuana impairs judgment, motor coordination and slows reaction time.
  • Marijuana can be especially toxic to a developing teenager’s brain. Marijuana use can lead to panic attacks, depression, anxiety and other behavioral health issues.
  • The more a student uses drugs, such as marijuana, the lower their grade-point average is likely to be and the more likely they are to
    drop out of school.

Teen Parties

  • Monitor parties in your home.
  • Plan the party with your teen and set clear rules ahead of time. Make sure they understand that alcohol, tobacco and other
    drugs will not be permitted.
  • Limit the number of guests. Do not allow beverages to be brought into the house.
  • Be alert to signs of alcohol, tobacco and drug use. Be willing to call parents if you suspect a guest has been drinking or using drugs. Do not let anyone drive under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
  • If your teen is attending a party outside your home, make sure to let him/her know what you expect; that they understand that it is never okay to drink or use drugs and drive, or to ride with someone who is impaired; and that you are available to pick them up if they find themselves in a situation that they are uncomfortable with.