hopeful kids are less likely to use marijuana
kids who are hopeful about their future experience less substance abuse
growing hopeful kids
return your unused medications
talk to your kids
help your kids avoid abusing prescription drugs
help your kids avoid abusing alcohol
set clear boundaries to protect your kids
talking with your kids about marijuana
help your kids avoid nicotine
simple parenting strategies that work
Parents usually underestimate the influence they actually have on their kids’ behavior. When it comes to the decision to use alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, most teens consistently identify their parents as their primary influencer.
Here are some simple things parents can do to help their kids make safe and healthy choices:
have the difficult conversations early
Talk openly and honestly about the important issues. Our culture is saturated with enticing and confusing messages about drugs that kids encounter every day. With misinformation and opportunities to experiment appearing earlier and earlier in life, it’s crucial for parents to step in and create clarity.
If asked, it’s ok to acknowledge drug use in your past. You can also describe general consequences that you experienced and the outcomes you want to protect your kids from having. However difficult, conversations about your values let your children know what your expectations are and how much you care about them.
clearly set a no use attitude
Create and enforce strict rules about drugs and be sure your kids know you think it’s a harmful choice. Establishing rules involving curfews, chores, bedtimes, and respecting other family members can also help set an expectation about responsibility and foster healthy behavior.
be self aware
Everyone learns by example, including your kids. Set a positive example for them by letting them see and understand the healthy choices you make.
give them the resources to succeed
Help them anticipate the types of situations that will come up and give them the tools for managing them. Prompt them to recommend other activities, to find their own words for saying no, and to be confident to walk away if circumstances require it.
What can I do to keep my children healthy and safe?
- Talk with them about the risks of using alcohol, marijuana and other drugs. Have the discussions early and often. Go to www.StartTalkingNow.org for more information.
- Never provide alcohol or drugs to minors. Lock up any alcohol, drugs, or prescription medication in your home.
- Stay actively involved with your kids. Teens who feel close to their parents are less likely to use alcohol or marijuana.
- Set fair and reasonable boundaries. Clear rules about drug and alcohol use that are consistently and reasonably enforced will help guide your kids into making safe and healthy choices.
- Keep track of your child. Monitor where they are, who they are with, and what they are doing. Call the parents of their friends to make sure they are supervised.
What are substances?
“Substances” can refer to all legal and non legal drugs, including alcohol, marijuana, tobacco, and prescription drugs. Other drugs (such as meth or heroin) are also considered substances.
Any use of alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana by youth is illegal.
substance use prevention resources for parents and adults
- Start Talking Now
resources for parents and other supporting adults on preventing youth substance use including talking points, facts, and more
- National Institute on Drug Abuse
facts, news, resources, and more on substance abuse
- University of Washington’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute (ADAI)
science and Research based information on Marijuana
- Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB)
information and marijuana and alcohol laws
resources for teens
- You Can
website for teens in Washington with resources on marijuana, mental health and more
- Teen Link
a Washington-based helpline for teens, by teens. It also includes support for peers and adults regarding teens in their life
- National institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) for Teens
information and fact on marijuana and other drugs
opioid abuse prevention/medicine take back
- Whatcom Has HOPE Preventing Opioid Abuse
resources on preventing opioid abuse in Whatcom County
- Whatcom Overdose Prevention
Naloxone kit online request form, local overdose data and other information
- Whatcom Med Return
medication drop-off locations in Whatcom County
- Take Back Your Meds
medication drop off locations in Whatcom County
- Lock Your Meds
resources, tips, and more on locking your meds
tobacco prevention and cessation
resources, tips, and tools for quitting smoking
- WADOH Secondhand Smoke
all about secondhand smoke health effects, policies, and resources in WA
- Whatcom County Prevention Coalitions
contact information for local community coalitions that address youth substance use prevention