Summer Is the High Time For New Teen Substance Use
According to recent national surveys on drug use and health, more teens first experiment with Marijuana and other substances in June and July, compared to any other part of the year. Many students make the decision as to whether they will drink or use substances the summer between 8th and 9th grade especially.
The good news is that Parents can make an important difference!
- Talk With Your Children: Work diligently on establishing and maintaining good communication with your children by breaking down communication barriers. Allow them to participate in the conversation and be listened to so that you can develop effective two-way communication.
- Get Involved & Monitor Their Activities: Kids are much less likely to have substance use problems when they have positive activities to participate in. It is important to have a caring adult help your kids find activities and places for these activities that are substance-free. Then keep track of where, with whom, and what your child is doing.
- Set Rules: It is essential to make rules clear and enforce them consistently. Clearly identify what actions you expect your teens to take since teens that know their parent's expectations and consequences are less likely to use substances, including alcohol.
- Be a Role Model: Children like to imitate adults. This is why it is important that parents be mindful of their own actions related to the use of tobacco, alcohol, and illegal drugs.
- Help Teach Kids To Choose Friends Wisely: We are all aware of "peer pressure." We understand that children want to be accepted and noticed by their peers. Sometimes this need for acceptance can result in making choices they may not normally make. Parents can be very helpful in empowering their kids to develop a healthy sense of self and to set positive goals early on and stick to them.
- Limit the Access Your Children Have to Substances: Children use substances that are available to them. They report sneaking alcohol from their own homes, taking cigarettes from relatives, and obtaining marijuana from people they tend to know well.
- Inform Teens About the Honest Dangers: Some discussion of negative consequences has impact on the decisions they make. It is important to emphasize that substance use clouds one's judgment and makes one more likely to be harmed in other ways.
- Inform Your Child of What Others Are ACTUALLY Doing : Teens perceptions are that everyone in high school is using alcohol or marijuana. In reality, over half of the students at North Kingstown High School are not using alcohol or marijuana.
For more information you can visit: http://www.risas.org/
Also please feel free to contact your student assistance counselor, she is always happy to provide support, answer any questions, or help you with necessary referral information.
Amy Almeida, MSW
(401)-268-6469 or email@example.com