PARENTS

Grown Ups SHOW UP

Talk about it. Then talk some more. Simple and repeated conversations about the risks of alcohol and drugs can make all the difference.  

                  

Adults are uniquely positioned to make a difference in the lives of young people. Teenagers may be curious about drugs or alcohol and may or may not ask parents for advice. It is important for adults to be knowledgeable and prepared to answer questions, or, to be able to start “the conversation”.

Keeping track of where your kids are and who they are with, setting and adhering to rules about drugs and alcohol, preventing access to substances, and talking and listening openly with young people about substance use are all ways you can show up for your kids.

Alcohol and drugs can interfere with developmental processes in the brain during adolescence. Drinking and using drugs at a young age is associated with development of substance use later in life.

DID YOU KNOW?

Substance use before the age of 18 is one of the strongest predictors for development of a substance abuse disorder in adulthood.

9 OUT OF 10 PEOPLE WITH SUBSTANCE PROBLEMS STARTED USING BEFORE AGE 18

SOURCE: National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. (2011). Adolescent substance use: America’s# 1 public health problem.

HAVE YOU SET CLEAR RULES ABOUT ALCOHOL AND DRUGS?

1 in 5 middle and high schoolers in Ossining say their parents have not set clear rules about drugs and alcohol.

2 out of 5 have never talked with their parents about drugs and alcohol.

TALK WITH YOUR KIDS ABOUT SUBSTANCE USE

Even if it doesn’t always seem like it, parents have a significant influence in their kids’ decision to experiment with alcohol and other drugs. When you talk to your children, they will hear you.

There are many resources available to parents, caregivers, and other responsible adults to help them:

  • Increase awareness of the risk and consequences of underage use
  • Gain knowledge, skills, and confidence to prevent underage drinking and substance use
  • Take action to prevent underage drinking and use

Actions for Adults

  • Educate yourself on the risks of alcohol, vapes, and drugs
  • Set clear “no use” rules
  • Don’t provide alcohol to young people
  • Prevent access in your home
  • Know your children’s friends and their parents
  • Talk and listen to your kids about drugs and alcohol
  • If you drink, use alcohol responsibly and don’t smoke

GET HELP IF YOU THINK YOUR TEEN IS DRINKING OR USING DRUGS

Notable shifts in behavior such as changes in attitude or personality, moodiness, irritability, nervousness, or even giddiness, could be a sign of early use. Take steps to connect with children and teens every day, as substance use and addiction can be isolating. And seek help. Free resources are available in English and Spanish.

FREE RESOURCES

Substance Use Warning Signs

  • Sudden change in friends; new hangouts
  • Change or loss of interest in activities, hobbies, or sports
  • Drop in grades or work performance
  • Avoiding family or family events
  • Stealing

Physical Warning Signs of Substance Use

  • Loss or increase in appetite; unexplained weight loss or gain
  • Inability to sleep or unusual laziness
  • The smell of substance on breath or clothes
  • Nausea, vomiting, sweating, shaking of hands, feet or head
  • Red, watery eyes; pupils larger or smaller than usual; blank stare

Start the Conversation and Set Rules about Alcohol and Drugs

  • Don’t try to scare your kid about drinking and using drugs – instead, tell them calmly and honestly about the facts, risks and consequences.
  • Be honest about you or your family’s past experiences with alcohol, drugs, and addiction.
  • Empower your teen with refusal skills and strategies.
  • Be a good listener.
  • Express your disapproval of risky behavior and praise their efforts make good decisions.
  • Show you care about your child’s wellness and search for identity.

SOURCE: Parent Resources. SAMHSA.(n.d.)

SOURCE: How to talk to your child/teen. Power to the Parent. (n.d.).

Power to the Parent

Grown Ups Show Up Campaign

The Conversation Starts with You. Kids look to their parents for guidance on tricky issues and that includes making decisions about drugs and alcohol. It’s never too early to talk to your children.

Set Goals for Your Conversations. Establishing a foundation of honesty and trust and showing your child you care about your child’s health, wellness and success are just examples of what you can accomplish by talking to your kids.

Starting “the Conversation”. It can be challenging to broach the subject of drugs and alcohol.

Responses Matter. Your child may argue, stay silent, or ask tough questions. How you respond makes a big difference.

Setting Rules. Setting and enforcing rules for young people is not always easy but it shows you care and helps kids know your expectations.

Check out other Grown Ups Show Up campaign materials and share with other adults in the Ossining community

Start the Conversation Setting Goals Tips on Starting the Conversation Responding to Kids’ Questions Setting Rules

LEARN MORE

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Nicotine and vaping are addictive, yet e-cig use is on the rise among young people.

Vaping

Marijuana

Make sense of the differing messages about marijuana: health effects, legalization and more.

Marijuana

Alcohol

Underage drinking can cause short-term and long-term problems for individuals, families, and communities.

Alcohol

Mental Health

Mental health issues are common but all too often go overlooked and untreated.

Mental Health
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