Talk. They Hear You.

Dear Parents,

Parenting a teen can be a challenging and difficult task as well as very rewarding. While most teens in Wheeling Township choose not to drink alcohol or use drugs, it is important to realize that there are steps parents should take to help prevent alcohol and drug abuse in their teen. Three out of four youth say parents are the number one influence in their life when in comes to making decisions about drinking and drug use. Your own actions, along with communicating about substance use, both send strong messages to your teen. Don’t assume your child already knows how you feel about drugs and alcohol.  Talking to them regularly and making your position clear can make a significant difference when it comes to preventing substance abuse. Prevention also means being involved with your child’s day to day activities. If you suspect your child has a drug or alcohol problem do not hesitate to contact a professional right away.

You’ve already heard about how important it is to talk to your teen about drugs and alcohol, however you many not know how or when to start the conversation.

Have short, frequent conversations with your child. This may be more effective than long talks. Start the conversation with your child as early as the age of 9.

  • Need help getting the conversation started? Click here for an interactive app for your phone that can help you get started!
  • Check out these five conversation goals when talking to your kids about alcohol.
  • Six Parenting Practices to Help Reduce the Chances Your Child Will Develop a Drug or Alcohol Problem Download the Toolkit

There is no better time to start than now. Download our brochure to see how:

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Frequently Asked Questions

Answer:  In a recent survey, 1 in 3 fifth and sixth graders (ages 10-11) said that alcohol was available and easy to get.  Approximately 10% of 9-10 year olds have started drinking, one in three begin drinking before age 13 and by age 15, approximately 50% have had at least one drink.

Answer:  Kids who start drinking alcohol before age 15 are 5 times more likely to develop alcohol abuse or dependence than people who first used alcohol at age 21 or older (16% vs. 3%).

Answer:  Perceived Risk and Social Acceptance.  If kids understand the risks of using drugs and they see using them as socially unacceptable, they are less likely to try drugs.  As parents we have an opportunity and responsibility to help our kids on both of these issues.

Answer:  An estimated 1,900 young people under the age of 21 die each year from alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes.   And, approximately 600,000 college students are unintentionally injured while under the influence of alcohol.  Approximately 700,000 students are assaulted by other students who have been drinking and about 100,000 students are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape.

Answer:  Children of alcohol or drug addicted parents are the highest risk group of all children to become alcohol and drug abusers due to both genetic and family environment factors.

Answer:  Plain and simple, if you are concerned, now is the time to seek help, not later.

Answer:  As a parent you should be concerned about alcohol and all of the other drugs, legal and illegal.  Recently there has been a significant increase in the non-medical use of prescription pain drugs among young people.  In fact, after marijuana, the next three most commonly used drugs are the non-medical use of prescription pain medications-Vicodin, OxyContin and Adderal

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