(Click on each letter to learn more.)


Solve problems together from the earliest age.

Practicing this life-skill on everyday challenges develops their ability to manage the larger issues later on, and makes it more likely they will feel comfortable enlisting your help when they hit a bump in the road.


Take family meals together on a regular basis.

Research shows that students who report eating dinner with their families several times a week experience less stress and are less likely to be involved with drugs or alcohol.


Affirm your support, affection, and encouragement every day.

Remind them you are in their corner.


Yield the microphone to them.

Then listen with an open mind and an open heart to whatever they have to say.  Your respect for their opinions, ideas, and feelings shows them how to respect yours.


Connect in a meaningful way, every single day.

A text, an unexpected phone call just to touch base, a delicate query on how the test went, a spontaneous trip for pizza—whatever communicates that you are paying attention and that what they do matters to you.


Let them practice saying “no thanks” to drugs and alcohol in the safety net of the family.

And reinforce your support for their abstinence regularly.


Offer the right behavior for them to model.

Don’t get behind the wheel if you have been drinking.  Don’t share your prescriptions or use someone else’s. Don’t use alcohol or drugs to solve your problems; get help if you need it.



Set clear no-use expectations about alcohol and drugs.

Young people who avoid involvement with drugs and alcohol cite their parents’ disapproval of use as a key factor in their decision. Though it may not seem that way to you, they do listen to what you are saying; they do care what you think; and they do pay attention to what you do.



Enforce consequences.

Make sure your children understand up front the consequences of their choices, and follow through on applying them when necessary. “Get out of jail free”  cards build risk and lessen protection with each occurrence.




Know their world.

Acquaint yourself with their friends, their friends’ families, their schedule, their pursuits and their preferences.



Notice changes.

Honor that feeling that something isn’t quite right. A big shift in mood, behavior, circle of friends, grades, attitude, and general well-being are red flags that could be signaling a problem deeper than just the “growing pains” of an adolescent.



Impress them with your command of the facts and the issues.

Study up on the impact of drugs and alcohol on the adolescent brain and body. When a piece of misinformation like “Everyone uses alcohol” or “Marijuana is natural. It can’t hurt you,” comes up at the dinner table, you need to be ready with a sound rebuttal that can influence their thinking.  Make it your business to become an expert by using the links on this page and the many helpful .gov and .org sites on the web.




Early. Often. Openly. Honestly. This is perhaps the most powerful tool in your kit. Frequent, short discussions about drugs and alcohol are more effective than one “big important talk.” Drugs and alcohol pose ongoing challenges in the lives of our children as they mature; they require ongoing attention and effective responses from parents.

If your child watches television, or uses social media and the Internet, then he or she is exposed to messages, overt or subliminal, accurate or otherwise, about both legal and illicit drugs. Prevention experts recommend that parents address the issues of drug and alcohol use by the time their children are about age 9.



Click on these images to find more support, suggestions, and reliable information.

The information contained in the Ossining Communities That Care (CTC) website is not meant to provide medical advice, but to provide information to better understand the health consequences of substance abuse and underage drinking. The behavioral approaches suggested on this page are not intended as therapeutic treatments and should not be used as a substitute for seeking psychological or physical evaluation by those individuals whose use of substances is impacting their daily lives.  Ossining CTC urges you to consult your physician or other health care provider if you or a loved one has an alcohol or drug problem.  See our Assistance page for more information on seeking help.

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Comes together to secure the long-term health and well-being of Ossining youth and their families

Assists our residents—especially parents and young people—by providing education, resources, and services for substance-abuse response and prevention

Reduces the use of alcohol and drugs in Ossining and prevents underage drinking

Esteems the accomplishments of our young people and supports them in making smart choices

Reach Out to Us

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Ossining Communities That Care | Alice Joselow, Coordinator | 165 Main Street | Ossining, NY 10562 | 914-502-1304

“Stay Close-Knit” acronym, text, and design on this page copyright Hellmich 2017. All rights reserved.

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