Substance Misuse

Learn:

  • In 2019, 7.0 million young people ages 12 to 20 report that they drank alcohol beyond “just a few sips” in the past month. (Source: SAMHSA-2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health

  • People ages 12 to 20 drink 4.0 percent of all alcohol consumed in the United States (Source: SAMHSA-2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health) Although youth drink less often than adults do, when they do drink, they drink more.

  • Young people who use e-cigarettes may be more likely to smoke cigarettes in the future. (Source: Center for Disease Control)

  • E-cigarette devices can be used to deliver marijuana and other drugs. (Source: Center for Disease Control)

  • On December 18, 2018 Surgeon General (Jerome Adams) Warns Youth Vaping is now an epidemic (Source: NPR 2018)

Monitor:

 

  • Start conversations early with children about the risks of using alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.

  • Know what your children are doing but give them space to grow.

  • Show your disapproval of underage drinking and other drug use and be a positive adult role model.

  • Show you care about your child’s health, wellness, and success.

  • Build your child’s skills and strategies for avoiding drinking and drug use. (Resource: Talk They Hear You: SAMHSA.gov)

Recognize & Intervene

Recognize:

  • Mood changes: flare-ups of temper, irritability, and defensiveness

  • School problems: poor attendance, low grades, and/or recent disciplinary action

  • Rebellion against family rules

  • Friend changes: switching friends and a reluctance to let you get to know the new friends.

  • A “nothing matters” attitude: sloppy appearance, a lack of involvement in former interests, and general low energy.(Resource: Talk They Hear You Warning Signs: SAMHSA.gov)

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Intervene:​

  • Understand the situation and the risks along with some common reasons that teens and young adults use substances.

  • If you co-parent, get on the same page before discussing the issue with your child. Remember that it is your primary responsibility as parents to protect the wellbeing of your child.

  • Confront the situation. Stay calm and prepare yourself for a conversation with your child. Your child may react with anger and the conversation may be uncomfortable but resolve to stay calm.

  • Work through barriers and keep an open dialogue. Seek professional guidance if needed. (Resource: Partnership to End Addiction: drugfree.org)

Support & Reach Out

Support:

 

  • Be there to listen to your child even if it is difficult to hear what they are saying.

  • Set limits and monitor behavior.

  • Provide information that will help them understand the risks of using substances.

  • Set realistic goals.

  • Help your child get professional help if you are worried about their involvement with substances. (Resource: Partnership to End Addiction: drugfree.org and Talk They Hear  You: SAMHSA.gov)

 

Reach Out:

 

  • Access local resources

  • Join support groups.

  • Utilize therapeutic interventions.