Abusing alcohol, drugs and tobacco at a young age can be harmful to a student’s social, emotional, cognitive and physical development, and it increases the risk of unsafe behaviors, automobile fatalities, and substance abuse later in life.
What You Can Do
Parents are important influences on their children's behavior.
- Share your values and expectations with your kid. Make a drug- and alcohol-free pact with through high school and college.
- Set consequences. Do not allow them to think they are "getting away" with behavior that is unacceptable to the family.
- Keep communication open about alcohol and drug use. If you overreact to bad news associated with drug and alcohol use by teens in your community, you are likely not to get a full story when you bring up the issue the next time.
- Help your student develop a strong sense of self-esteem, along with the social skills necessary to withstand peer pressure to use alcohol and other drugs.
- Set a good example with your own habits. Do not use drugs, and be moderate or abstain in your own use of alcohol.