If your teen is heading down the wrong path starting to make poor choices, you might be feeling helpless or hopeless right now. You care about your child and want what is best for them; but you also know that your teen is at an age when he or she needs to make decisions independently.
We can help. Every situation is different, and we won’t have all of the answers. But we know a lot about substance use and addiction; our prevention advocates have struggled with it, recovered from it, and have had time to think about what would have, and would not have, helped them to make different decisions along the way.
There is a lot of information out there. Some of it is good, and some of it is not so good. We have worked to track down and provide you with sources of information that we think are the most helpful and realistic.
Your involvement, as a parent, in your child’s life is one of the strongest factors that may influence your child’s decision to abstain from substance use. Your opinion matters -- even if your teen is saying that it doesn't matter. We believe that the best thing you can do is to show your teen that you care by educating yourself about teen substance use and opening up a conversation in a constructive way.
The situation you are in may feel scary, but it is not hopeless.
According to the Center on Addiction,
52% of teens find it easy to access nicotine, alcohol and other drugs.
49% personally know someone struggling with addiction.
33% get information about drugs and alcohol from unreliable sources.
Over 1 in 4 teens have witnessed illegal drug use
By becoming informed and learning to talk to your children, you can help ensure the information they're getting is correct.