Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention

  • START TALKING NOW!
    Every conversation counts. StartTalkingNow.org has information to help you talk to your kids about marijuana use. 

    Want to find a local Al-Anon or Alateen Family Group
    Call 360-618-0464 or 1-888-425-2666
    Want to talk to trained staff at the Alcohol/Drug Help Line?
    Call 206-722-3700 or 1-800-562-1240
     
    When it comes to teen drug use, an ounce of prevention is worth so much more than a pound of cure.  Follow these tips:

    1. Be there for your teen when he needs to get out of a bad situation.
    Be the scapegoat: ‘I can’t do that, my parents would kill me!’ Or be the parent who will pick up your teen without repercussions if he finds the party he’s gone to has drugs available or her date has been drinking.
    2. Get to know your teen’s friends and their parents on a first name basis.
    This will help you know what your teen is doing.
    3. Keep connected in the after school hours.
    If you can’t be home with your teen, call, text, leave notes. Have another adult supervise your teen or sign him up for an after-school program. If these things aren’t possible, establish a routine for your teenager and keep him busy during this time.
    4. Talk to your teen often about drugs.
    Use videos, television shows or the radio as icebreakers to initiate the topic. Remember these are conversations, not lectures.
    5. Get your teen involved in extra-curricular activities.
    Schools offer sports or clubs and community organizations offer classes and youth groups. These help mold identity in a positive way and allow less time doing nothing and becoming bored. Studies show teens who have less time to "just hang out" are less likely to do drugs.
    6. Ask questions when your teen makes plans to go out.
    Who will he be with, where is he going, what will he be doing, etc. Then check up on him. Call other parents and do this together.
    7. Be a role model.
    If you drink, drink responsibly - and don’t use illegal drugs.
    8. Unite your family against drugs using strong family beliefs.
    Establish that your family doesn’t use drugs. Not that you will shun your child should he make a mistake, but that your family believes there are healthier ways to enjoy life and fix problems rather than escaping through drug use.