Despite all of your efforts to keep your kids drug-free, one day you might suspect that your son or daughter is using drugs or alcohol. Perhaps you have found an odd-looking pipe in his room, cans and bottles in the car or rolling papers in her laundry. Or you overheard a conversation not meant for you. Whatever the signal, your gut instinct has been activated. How do you know if you need to do anything? What do you do now? Where do you turn for help?
Every day, approximately 4,700 American youth under age 18 try marijuana for the first time. That is about equal to the enrollment of six average-sized U.S. high schools. In 2003, nearly nine out of 10 twelfth graders reported marijuana as being accessible.
By the time they finish the eighth grade, approximately 50 percent of adolescents have had at least one drink, and more than 20 percent report having been “drunk.”
Drug and alcohol use by teens increases the risk of addiction and can change the developing brain for life.
Despite these statistics, one thing remains true:
Parents are the most important influence in a teen’s decisions about drug use. You can and do make a difference. If you suspect or know that your child is using drugs, take action now, because the longer you wait, the harder it will be to deal with your child’s drug use.
Especially for Parents
- www.TheAntiDrug.com is an online service of the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign that offers resources, information and facts for parents.
- www.laantidroga.com is the Spanish online service of the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign and offers resources, information and facts for parents.
- www.drugfreeamerica.org/Parents_Caregivers is an online service of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America that offers tips and information for parents and caregivers.